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Michal Pakulski - 'The Road' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 09, 2017    
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An album both a guitar-oriented and song-oriented listener can enjoy,

One look at the album cover and you know it's time to buckle up and make sure the tank is full. With an artwork that resembles a shot from a road film, Michal Pakulski – a Polish guitar player, composer session musician and music journalist – takes you for a ride with his new album 'The Road'. And, as it turns out, it's a musical trip to be enjoyed not only by a shredding aficionado...

So to describe the album's content, Pakulski uses the term "modern Classic Rock". An oxymoron? It may seem so, but in the end it turns out to be surprisingly accurate. Its start accentuated with the haunting, eerie intro ('Memories') and 'The Road' turns out to be a fine compromise between the old-school vibe and the modern, sharp sound of the album. Although the majority of it is dominated by Pakulski's crystal-clear, sharp and melodic guitar sound, as in the slightly eighties-tinted 'Two Poles', it also gets soft and dreamy at times ('Lullaby'). Pakulski also switches easily from one music style to another – from furious shredding ('Pain', 'The Road' or fiery final track 'Supernova') to a laidback, slightly Jazzy sound ('13th Planet') or a certain dose of "radio-friendly" Melodic Hard Rock ('For The Rest Of My Life'). While it may be assumed that his instrumental prowess is proven best by the former, only the latter demonstrate his actual versatility as a guitar player.

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The trip down the eponymous "road" with Pakulski is way too short, ending abruptly at thirty minutes and only eight tracks. This, however, might have been the guitarist's plan all along and it certainly works, the listener left craving for more after 'Supernova' fades out. The deliberate choice behind the limited length of the album may have robbed Pakulski of a chance to fill his songs with even more guitar wizardry, but conversely it also made it more digestible, even for those who define shredding as "style over substance" kind of playing.

'The Road' is thus an album both a guitar-oriented and song-oriented listener can enjoy, and this fact alone may have been Michal Pakulski's secret weapon from the very start.

Alexandra Mrozowska

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