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Paul Bryan

Listen Of

(Sonar Kollektiv; US: 5 Aug 2008; UK: 21 Jun 2008; Canada Release Date: 24 Mar 2009)

You can count on the taste of Jazzanova like you can count on death and taxes. Dug by their blessed hands out of a crate in Berlin a decade ago, the 1973 debut album from Brazilian born Sergio Sa under the name Paul Bryan was a genuine find. Granted, the blind born singer-songwriter’s grasp of the English language was not perfect (hence the album title), but he got the point across just as well as Björk ever did.


His style was like a lush ‘70s AM radio American session band. Spiritually influenced by Motown and the British invasion, the results fall into the turf of Gilbert O’Sullivan, Burt Bacharach, and Elton John, with canned strings and subtly epic piano coming up against folk flavored acoustic guitar. Sergio was obviously a talented songwriter, since few in the business have worked with both Gilberto Gil and Steve Wonder, while the sales of Listen Of now number over 150,000 in Brazil alone. He was worthy, and this record was evidence of him just getting to the top of his game.

Rating:

Author of blurbs, curator of playlists, and booker of shows, Alan Ranta has been plugging away at that music writing and programming thing since 2004. His brutally honest critical opinion has appeared in such publications as Exclaim!, CBC Music, PopMatters and Tiny Mix Tapes, and has been enlisted to help judge the Polaris Music Prize, Pazz & Jop, and Juno Awards. Based in East Van, he graduated with a BFA in music from Simon Fraser University in 2012. He's also a social media plague, cat whisperer, socio-political haranguer, Canucks fan, and one of the last remaining cowboys.


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