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Paul Davis (Singer): Paul Davis [1980]

Album Notes

Building upon the warm soft rock of Singer of Songs -- Teller of Tales, Paul Davis delivered his smoothest record with his eponymous 1980 LP. The tempo may get kicked up a notch once every side -- in a tongue-in-cheek fashion on "Too Slow to Disco," in a serious way on "So True" -- but those moments bear none of the blues-boogie that still popped up on Singer of Songs; they're just palette-cleansers to prepare listeners for the next mellow molasses ballad. As the `70s gave way to the `80s, Davis did this sound better than almost anyone else, and Paul Davis is a sustained piece of soothing soft rock, to the extent that the overall mood matters more than the individual songs. The easy elegance of "Do Right" -- the opening song here and one of Davis' best-ever tunes -- suggests otherwise, but as the album rolls on what sticks is not the melodies but the atmosphere, which is welcoming and amiable, thanks to how Davis breathes life into these glossy, immaculate surfaces with his easy, friendly style. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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