Paul Kloschinsky – Crime of Passion
Crime of Passion is the latest full length release from Canadian born singer/songwriter/poet/photographer Paul Kloschinsky and finds this veteran performer working at or near the peak of his abilities. This eight song collection largely confines itself to the folk/Americana music vein largely responsible for Kloschinsky’s previous output but, like many of the songs on those earlier efforts, Kloschinsky shows a wont for coloring outside the lines and making an impression with his willingness to gamble. The outside the box instruments he brings to bear, like strings and organ among others, fills the songwriting with shades it might otherwise lack. The recording has a decidedly DIY approach to recording and some might think Kloschinsky’s voice is drenched in too much echo, but it often achieves a memorably theatrical affect thanks to its distance, particularly on the album’s two longest songs.
“I’m Still Waiting” begins Crime of Passion in a very confident way. It’s fairly standard genre work, in some ways, but there’s little question his idiosyncratic vocal melody does an exceptional job of lining up with his artfully tasteful guitar work in a way that makes things quite fresh. “I Believe” has a much different sound than the opener and a surprisingly buoyant pop edge thanks to the understated presence of brass in the track. The energy level of the song is high, but he’s careful to never let it get away from him and the guitar work carries much of the song despite the inclusion of brass. “House Up on the Hill” has exceptional musical values, but the really impressive aspect of this performance is the lyrical gem he carves complete with vivid flashes of poetry and a strong narrative slant. His vocal brings just the right amount of immediacy to bear so that the tale is urgently conveyed. “A Poignant Point in Time” has a distinctly different line of attack insofar as it adopts all of Kloschinsky’s musical fingerprints, i.e. the guitar, strong energy, and mixes them with a dollop of rock and roll attitude. It has a near punky flavor despite its acoustic trappings and makes an excellent case for the tight snap Kloschinsky can bring to his material.
The album’s final number “Gates of Heaven” shows off his capacity for surprise. It begins unusually with some dense pipe organ like keyboards before transitioning into one of his more poetically composed guitar passages. The song is relatively familiar fare for anyone used to the typical subject matter of traditional folk – Kloschinsky is reflecting on eternal matters here and the eventual day when he will die like everyone else. The subject matter inspires the appropriate amount of respect from the songwriter and singer, but he never sounds cowed by its immensity. It’s a different sort of tune from the rest and a definitive ending for the album – Paul Kloschinsky’s best to date. Crime of Passion is a eight song collection wrestling with an assortment of passions and it leaves a deep impact on the listener.