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New York City-based musician Paul Maged is back with a politically charged EP titled Crossroads, named after the perceived crossroads of both the singer-songwriter’s own life and the social and political problems facing the country. Therefore, Maged tackles the big issues of the day like the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol as well as more insular, personal issues of mental health and depression. The EP was mostly mixed by Chris Sheldon who worked on Foo Fighters’ The Colour and the Shape, and the songs here are suitably larger than life in their sound with a massive wall of guitars.
The EP begins with a pair of songs that bridge that gap between hard rock and pop like the Foo Fighters or Weezer. The first “Martyr War” introduces what Maged finds wrong with the current political climate while “Burn It To The Ground” suggests a radical solution for the hate in the world. From here, he pivots to a surprising but emotionally effective piano ballad with “A Sudden Contrast.” He returns once more to the sonic rock assault on “Under My Tree,” and ends with a real highlight of the EP, the acoustic title track “Crossroads.” It’s impressive how much musical and thematic ground he is able to cover in just five songs, and Crossroads is a captivating statement from an authentic voice.
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