It’s my birthday in a few days and I’m reaching the age where people start to worry about how they’re getting older. Now I’ve always been concerned with my age because I’m a go-getter who used to think I’d have my whole life figured out by 18 but recently the concern isn’t so much how much I can get done within the next year but how can I manage to stay true to my youthful self as the years and responsibilities start piling in. Not a weird tacky I want to wear pum pum shorts to work type of youth but you know an age gracefully and manage to hold on to my passion for life type of youth. All of this life questioning brought me back to a conversation I had with Paul Cargnello back in March when he was preparing for his Quebec tour promoting his latest album Papa Paul. ‘It’s about learning to embrace the new stages and opportunities of your life […] focusing on the past is useless since those days have already left their imprint, which won’t wash away’ he said referring to the theme of Papa Paul. Those words resonated with me on a personal tip but even more on musical perspective because in the end isn’t that what makes a great artist, someone who is daring enough to explore new grounds and opportunities while remaining true to their essence. If you’re not sure if you agree with that statement I urge you to study Miles Davis’s musical career.
What’s great about Paul Cargnello is that he truly does practice what he preaches. If you take a look at his career you’ll see that he’s a ‘rock’ artist whose collaborated with a variety of pop, reggae and even hip hop artists, he’s a ‘political’ singer who’s written love songs and most notably he’s ‘English’ artist who often sings in French yet none of these stylistic decisions have ever made him steered his fundamental message and by refusing to limit himself to a genre box he’s managed to spark the interest of an impressive wide variety of people, or at least that’s what I understood from looking into the crowd at his last Montreal show and seeing an odd panoply of corporate suits, jordans, and fedoras.
I like that I can’t quite pinpoint what is that I like about Cargnello’s music. It’s managed to take me out of my comfort zone and has forced me to experience rather than critique, which is refreshing for a reviewer. It’s not often that we let ourselves be vulnerable enough to appreciate something new. If you find yourself feeling oh so daring I recommend you to come join me at his show at Sala Rossa, May 24th. I’m determined to figure out why his music has me so charmed this time.