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Paulcito - MVP (self-released)

11 March 2024

Music, the best and most interesting music at least, has never fitted neatly into pigeon-holes or boxes. Anything that is easily categorizable must logically be reminiscent of what has gone before, and thus following in past footsteps rather than forging a path through pastures new.

Paulcito is definitely someone cutting new swathes through such sonic pastures; he is undoubtedly someone leading rather than waiting for others to point the way. MVP is that attitude put into practice, an album full of highly original and wonderfully off-the-beaten-track musical adventures.

A mercurial blend of art-pop invention and psychedelic threads, pop accessibility and rock grooves, it is like little you will have heard before and perhaps harks back to the more adventurous days of the early seventies, a time when the likes of Bowie, Waits, Zappa, and Beefheart were rewriting the musical landscape, exploring possibility and potential.

I’m not saying that Paulcito necessarily sounds that much like any of those, which again, is the whole point, but he does embrace the same sense of spirited adventure and singular sonic purpose. And anyone who can write a song with the title “Biden Popped the Chinese Spy Balloon,” a sort of brooding, a swaggering blend of chiming sonics and liquid electronica, is someone, not only thinking outside the box but who has forgotten that there was ever a box, to begin with.