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Pacifico - Thin Skin and An Open Heart Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.75
Production 7.75
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7.75
Reviewer Tilt 7.75
Final Verdict: 78%
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Pacifico - Thin Skin and An Open Heart

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (08/25/09)
Pacifico - Thin Skin and an Open Heart
Record Label: ALLALOM Music
Release Date: Aug. 4, 2009


Thin Skin and an Open Heart, the latest release from Pacifico, the braintrust of singer/songwriter Matthew Schwartz finds the former Georgian now happily esconced in Winston-Salem, NC and without a true backing band. Thin Skin though is lucky in that it features a supporting cast of stellar musicians, including: Robert McDowell and Jeremiah Edmon of Manchester Ochestra, Jason Martin of Starflyer 59, Jason Mask of Gasoline Heart and Steven Dial of Project 86.

The album opens with the thinly veiled opening 90 seconds of "Prologue," before pushing onto the pop gloss of "Backtrack to Me," a song with driving guitars and a walloping chorus. And then things head south. Third track "O, Caroline" and fourth track, "Elliot," are awash in frail and limp vocal melodies who are drowned out by dense atmospheric layers and a searching rhythm section. All that changes though on the sweeping grace of "Friends and Lovers" where midtempo movements meet with falsetto vocals and Byrds-like riffs. The punchy and danceable "Stop!" is sun-drenched and caffeinated even though the vocals aren't entirely audible. Thankfully, Schwartz settles down on the acoustic and moody "Annie Oakley" which has a decidedly Beatles-esque vibe and top notch lyrics. The album falls off again when "Babylon," and "Salvation Army," don't really do all that much, but is rescued by the autumnal and wistful "We Are The Easily Forgotten." Melancholic, poignant and bittersweet, the song can arguably stake its claim as one of the best mid-tempo songs released this year. Triumphant, hypnotic and powerful, "We Are The Easily Forgotten," is the kind of song Schwartz can hang his entire career on. Some artists will write for years and never touch a song as good as this. The tepid "Something's Going Wrong Again follows," backed up by the spiky rocker "Shine On," before finishing with the undeniably earnest closer "Close Your Eyes and Dream"

Now eight albums (including three EPs, a rarities disc and a greatest hits) into his career, Schwartz is a consistent, hardworking musician who does it the right way every time out. Despite the fact that Thin Skin and An Open Heart falls off in places, its positive moments are well worth remembering. Possessing a penchant for indelible melodies and a keen devotion to indie, DIY sentiments, Thin Skin and an Open Heart is a pleasant and amiable record that solidifies Pacifico's place in the current musical climate: straightforward, no-nonsense indie rock done created for all the right reasons. When all is said and done, that's a pretty hard formula to argue with.

Track Listing1. Prelude
2. Back Track Back to Me
3. Oh, Caroline
4. Elliott
5. Friends And Lovers
6. Stop!
7. Annie Oakley
8. Babylon
9. Salvation Army
10. We Are the Easily Forgotten
11. Something Is Going Wrong Again
12. Shine On
13. Close Your Eyes and Dream


Recommended If You Like Monday in London, Lakes, Umbrellas, The New Frontiers, Acute


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Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10
08:46 AM on 08/25/09
#2
inthemidst
Grace and Peace
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Good review, man. I've heard of Matt Schwartz's Pacifico, but I've never followed through and listened to them, at least not that I can remember. This definitely sounds like something I would be into.
08:50 AM on 08/25/09
#3
Gregory Robson
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Good review, man. I've heard of Matt Schwartz's Pacifico, but I've never followed through and listened to them, at least not that I can remember. This definitely sounds like something I would be into.
It's got some good songs. Not all 13 are good, but a good seven or eight are. As always, I greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you sir.
09:07 AM on 08/25/09
#4
inthemidst
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It's got some good songs. Not all 13 are good, but a good seven or eight are. As always, I greatly appreciate your feedback. Thank you sir.
No problem, I've always enjoyed your reviews. If you like this sound, you should definitely check out Sleeping at Last if you haven't had the chance. I love these guys. Very brilliant cohesive acoustic indie with string orchestration to boot. I reviewed their last album "Storyboards" on my page. Anyway, just a recommendation!
09:37 AM on 08/25/09
#5
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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No problem, I've always enjoyed your reviews. If you like this sound, you should definitely check out Sleeping at Last if you haven't had the chance. I love these guys. Very brilliant cohesive acoustic indie with string orchestration to boot. I reviewed their last album "Storyboards" on my page. Anyway, just a recommendation!
Big fan already. But thanks for the tip.
09:04 PM on 08/25/09
#6
I'm DC
I hope this terrifies you.
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from far away, the album cover kinda looks like an animated vagina and ass. haha
09:10 PM on 08/25/09
#7
Iwudstilldie4u
UCSD's AP.net liaison
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from far away, the album cover kinda looks like an animated vagina and ass. haha
What a dirty mind you have!
I'd go more for 808s and Heartbreak, but whatever floats your boat
10:14 PM on 08/25/09
#8
Gregory Robson
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What a dirty mind you have!
I'd go more for 808s and Heartbreak, but whatever floats your boat
Totally agree. It reminded me of Kanye as well.
11:12 PM on 08/25/09
#9
singyoutocoma
Find a thread to pull...
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If they're really a band a Monday in London fan would like -- assuming you mean The Red Machine Monday in London -- I will definitely check them out.
05:25 AM on 08/26/09
KennyC
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Oh man, Allison Mosshart must be kind of pissed...

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