Pajo

Fresh from making a few thousand indie rock die-hards collectively wet their pants by embarking on a reunion tour with his former band, Slint, the prolific David Pajo releases yet another solo project, though the first bearing his actual name. If you've followed any of the recordings Pajo has done with Tortoise, or as Aerial M and Papa M (let's not count the short-lived Billy Corgan “supergroup” Zwan), you'll know that there are two main phases of his musical career: vocal and instrumental. The instrumental phase peaked with 1999's Live From a Shark's Cage, a hypnotic, strangulated guitar record with all sorts of haunted melodies lurking underneath. With Pajo, he takes the singer/ songwriter route, stepping away from the convoluted guitar tricks that brought him so much attention to begin with. His playing is as stripped-down as possible, augmented only by some slight, homespun electronic manipulations, resulting in hushed, rhythmic forays into escape and desolation. You can hear elements of Neil Young's “Love Is a Rose” on “Manson Twins” and even bits of Elliott Smith on “Icicles,” but Pajo's fragmented folk points to something more singular and personal. A fine record, to be sure.

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