Paul De Rita | Modular Slop
Family Average: 3/7
The family sat down and was served some Modular Slop by Paul De Rita recently, and as always the appetites varied amongst the family. To give a better understanding of the diverse impressions: some were reminded of Elton John, others Led Zeppelin. What other artists will come to their minds?
Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:
It’s weird, but I find myself saying this again: first impressions are super important to me when it comes to music. I think it might have something to do with what I deal with on the day to day side of life. So what does the first impression here tell me? Let’s start with the name Paul De Rita. Okay cool sounds, like a nice enough guy. Moving on we got the name of the album. Modular Slop. Okay, so from this I kind of got the feeling that this album was going to be a mess of ideas, in which the order of listening does not really matter. Then, we get a first glance of the album art, and this idea was reinforced. By the time I finally get to listening, De Rita has lived up to the impression they initially made.
The intention of the artist was for sure reached. There is a myriad of musical ideas on this six-song nugget. Hopping around between hard rock, soulful folk guitar, harsh noise, and some kind of dub, it never seems to find a place to rest comfortably. Unfortunately, while Paul De Rita does show a lot of skill and understanding of these genres I just prefer a little continuity in my collage. I would love to hear an album where this artist focuses on one or at the very most two of these genres.
This guy has talent, and lots of it. He sure knows his way around the fret board and for a single guy composing all this sound, it’s pretty impressive.
Although the first track was not to my liking, I’m sure that there is an audience that it appeals to. It reminded me of Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend”. The second track sounded like the music score to one of those Spaghetti Westerns of the 60’s. Third track was hands down my favorite. The guitar and the wawa pedal sounded a lot like Hot Tuna and overall it was just a cool song.
Now for my final rating bear in mind that I am generally a fan of working bands, not albums produced by a soul artist like this one. As a result I give it a
4/7 Overall good job.
First things first, I support anyone trying to find and establish their sound, testing the proverbial creative waters. So props to Paul de Rita for creating an album that strives to encompass many, many genres. Each song seems to be a riff on (or rip off) disparate types of music and bands. The Led Zeppelin vibes were potent on the aptly entitled track “LED,” and the track “Do You Dub?” was playing into some strange synthy dub world that was a sharp juxtaposition. That being said, my favorite track was “Everything is Somewhere,” as the sweet and melodic guitar was a respite in this assemblage of sound. De Rita is undoubtedly a talented musician, but it’s like he can’t decide what he wants to do, so he’s gonna try to do it all. It’s unfortunate because I was left with no clear understanding of who he is or what he is about as an artist. My advice? Remember the old adage: “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
There are many things happening here. Much like the album art, it seems that Paul Dorito throws a hand full of spaghetti at the wall and prays something sticks.
The album traverses many genres and some of the travels leave a bad taste in your mouth. I liked LED, sure, I would rob a bank to this song. And it sounds really tight. I don’t really understand all of the “ludes”. We have two interludes and an outerlude. We even have an intro to the ending. In the end sadly I find Paul lacking a voice…not in a literal sense, but i feel that the songs between this album lack a glue to tie them all together. I am confused. I see one or two singles from this album, and perhaps an EP is pushing it.
Paul Dorito, I praise you for making this album. You put a lot of heart and a lot of terrible art into the cover. In the end, I could see one or two of these songs being picked up through BMI and maybe you should pursue that and give me some money for being your mentor.
For starters, I don't do good at reviewing something without lyrics. I prefer lyrics, even when they're as stupid as "baby, baby, baby". For seconders, why is there an interlude right before the outro? I feel like that's not how its supposed to go. For thirdly, I was not a fan of the album art. Felt like a high school freshman getting carried away in his "Intro to Photoshop" class. For finally, Paul DeRita sounds like he has talent, but with those three strikes it was lost on me.
For the first two songs, while I appreciate the musical talent, I just didn't really relate well to either. I felt as though there was too much going on and not enough substance for me. Then came the third song and I loved the acoustic guitar work. He really ran the gamete here musically. The fourth song was my favorite. Reminded me of Kenny Wayne Shepard or Stevie Ray Vaughn. This artist is definitely talented just not enough to perhaps be successful commercially. Although that may not be what he is after. I give this a…
The first song didn’t really do anything for me. I found “Do You Dub” pleasing and funky. Simple yet masterful and perfect. The confusion is starting. “Everything is Somewhere” was a different kind of pleasing, easy to listen to acoustic goodness. Then we got to “LED” and i was displeased again. Like the first song, I was irritated. Whatever he was doing with those guitars was not working, ya lost me. “Holy Haunted House” was a nice little spooky alien abduction, I liked it. That being said, this was as scattered as my brain, but not always in a good way.
This album sounds a lot like the way the album art looks: a bunch of odd bits here and there collaged together all hodge-podge. The first song is definitely a rock/electronic cover of a classical song. The name escapes me, but I’ve definitely heard that tune before. If I’m wrong, then they did a bang-up job with an approximation of a baroque-ish melody. The problem I had with it though, along with a lot of the songs on this album, was that they kind of get repetitive. They get going strong, but then it’s like they don’t know where to go from there. They just kinda repeat until you’re tired of them. It might be that it’s not meant to completely hold your attention, like it’s background music.
The track that worked for me the most though was “Everything is Somewhere”. It had a pleasant vibe to it, and the hint of echo distortion was a nice touch to give it some connection to the rest of the songs’ more manipulated sound. “LED” had a generic rock sound to it so it worked for what it was. I’m not quite sure why there was an interlude right before the final song though. “Modular Slop (Outro)” served as a nice bookend to “Modular Slop (Intro)”, with a similar vibe but enough changeup to maintain individualism.
In general it sounded like a sample album. I’d be interested to see what they produce if they stick with one genre and sound style, because right now there’s potential but they seem to have stretched themselves too thin.