Just can`t get "The Rococo Tape"(soundite #1 below) out of my head, just oozes of cool and "Let It Be" session looseness and Robert Pollard alchemy. The Paparazzi is the musical pseudonym of songwriter and rock auteur Erik Paparazzi. Expect a lush and dreamy ride that harnesses the best moves of several purveyors of lost classics and lost weekends: Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson, and Todd Rundgren.
"The songs are so lighthearted on the surface that it`s easy to miss out on the endless series of carefully crafted hooks, guitar lines and arrangements that manage to sound as unlabored as if the band just made them up on the spot - they`re rock solid, built with an old-school craftsmanship and instrumental skill that it`s easy to overlook given how sweetly catchy and summery everything sounds. It`s a total pop jam with a surprisingly and constantly shifting structure. No matter how many times you listen to this, it always sounds like maybe something different is going to happen this time, striking a perfect balance between the kind of loose, flowing rock usually referred to as `shambling,` and really excellent pop craftsmanship. The songs fit perfectly together - simultaneously heavy and light, full on the one hand of lyrical puns and lighthearted touches like the little dissonant piano figure that pops up after the closing chords of `Epic Proportions,` and on the other of varied and extended harmonies, guitar riffs that sound classic without sounding old, and rhythmic and metric shifts that keep you on your toes. More bands would do well to remember that while songs with three chords are nice; most of the time things get a little more interesting with four."- The Ampeater.
The story behind the album: Back in 2004 when The Paparazzi was performing regularly as a 7 piece band, they recorded the tracks for what was to become Rococo. But something was missing in the final results, and Erik shelved the record until 2007. On the road with Cat Power, he began remixing it on his laptop and wound up deconstructing many of the original performances and arrangements, sometimes drastically reinventing the songs. In so doing he gave new life to the project, and brought us a sonically stunning and wholly immersive record.
This is one to play through. From the first note to the last, Rococo thrusts listeners into a quasi dream state, conjuring rich images and soundscapes while reveling in pop thrills with enough happy accidents to subvert any hint of predictability. Not everyone, perhaps, may be able to soak and sink into the grooves here - the soundbites below should let you know where you stand - but there`s no question: Erik Paparazzi is a some kind of songwriter and crafer of incredible pop grooves. Extremely Highly Recommended, if you down with the vision!
Song #1 - mp3
Song #2 - mp3
Song #3 - mp3
Song #4 - mp3
Song #5 - mp3