PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Paper Moon: One Thousand Reasons to Stay . . . One to Leave

Nikki Tranter

Paper Moon

One Thousand Reasons to Stay . . . One to Leave

Label: Endearing
US Release Date: 2002-10-15
UK Release Date: Available as import

Though maybe not a thousand, there are certainly a great many reasons to like Paper Moon's debut full-length release, One Thousand Reasons To Stay . . . One to Leave. Here are six of them:

Reason 1: The band's press release. I love a good press release, and Paper Moon has succeeded in forwarding one that's innovative and funny.

All the necessary information is there -- a short bio, information about the album, the players and their positions in the band, email addresses and websites, phone numbers and names of relevant contacts -- as well as a bizarre little strip down the side of the paper detailing tidbits about Paper Moon such as a "File Under" category, letting me know that the band describes itself as "new-wave influenced pop", the track numbers that are the band's own favorites and a list of artists Paper Moon "would sound good on a mix tape with" including the Cardigans, Blondie, and the Sundays.

Reason 2: Pedigree. The members of Paper Moon are seasoned musicians who have been working in the music industry and performing for a number of years prior to the birth of the band.

Principal band members Allison and Bob Somers and Chris Hiebert were all members of defunct Prairie Music Award-nominated band, the Bonaduces, as well as the mildly successful B'ehl. B'ehl's Bright Eyes record earned excellent reviews worldwide, including a Critic's Choice review in Billboard magazine, spent time at the top of Canadian campus radio charts and even managed to get a song played in an episode of Dawson's Creek. Campbell's vocals, also, are by no means unfamiliar to Canadian audiences, having featured on three albums released by critically acclaimed pop/rock outfit, the Electrosonics.

Paper Moon melds the best parts of each of these acts to create a fresh, hip collection of songs.

Reason 3: Singer Heather Campbell's squeaky, lollipop-girl vocals are reminiscent of the Murmurs, Lisa Loeb and, oddly, Joey Lauren Adams in her ode to her sweetheart in the 1997 film, Chasing Amy. Campbell's gleeful, hippie-like voice breathes bubbly life into the band's pop-fuelled, rockin' tunes, sounding at once innocent and dominant.

Reason 4: The band's startling ability to create infectious pop-rock melodies, consistently competent in their writing and playing. Campbell and Somers keep their guitars upbeat and forceful throughout, with just the right amount of pumping backbeat from drummer, Hiebert.

Paper Moon's unrelenting joviality is completely refreshing. The band ensure the album's energetic tracks -- the best of which being "Remember Me" and "Better Days" -- remain toe-tappingly catchy from beginning to end, though even the album's solitary ballad, "I've Done It Wrong Again", manages to get your shoulders shaking.

Reason 5: Song titles like "Your Thesaurus Won't Help You Now". With intricate, expressive twists in their song lyrics and titles, the Paper Moon guys demonstrate a distinct love of language. "Thesaurus" features a couple a real gems, including "Wrestle phrases from a frozen mind / Extract the necessary lines to ensure continuance / Of what I've taken for granted all this time".

The earthy "The History of Punctuation", about a relationship slowly falling apart, features a lot of this refined songwriting, with the band constructing mind-bending tongue twisters like "If fleeting intentions are ignored without resolve / Building together runs on and on" and "Things can never be the same / Empty pages speak volumes / Reams of endless chatter / Never see the light outside your room" sung by Campbell at rapid-fire pace.

And, the beautifully titled "Pancake Bay Weather Station" sees the band create another lyrically complex song about discovering the present by charting the past via old photo albums: "There amidst the blurry highway curiosities badly framed landscapes and poorly lit places is a startling revelation / I hadn't expected to find / This is me looking over my shoulder / This is me watching something that's just out of view / This is me pretending I had what I wanted / And this was you".

Honorable groovy-title mentions go, also, to "Sno-Globe" and "Mercury Is Clearly Opposing Neptune".

Reason 6: One Thousand Reason is simply a lively, intelligent blend of pop/rock tracks each instantly likeable, danceable and capable.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.


Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.


Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.


Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.


Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.


The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.


British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.


Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.


​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.


The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.


Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.


How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.