Bright Eyes Fade
'Bright Eyes Fade' is the long awaited new release from Canada's Paul MacLeod. Released 6 years after his acclaimed (and Hawksley Workman co-produced) album 'Close and Play', Paul has returned with a more understated production. The songs this time around focus more on Paul's guitar and voice with subtle accompaniment that showcases the melodic gift and guitar prowess that made him an in demand sideman for bands such as the Rheostatics, the Skydiggers and many more ! Exclaim magazine sez: It's been six years since MacLeod's Hawksley Workman-produced previous album Close And Play, so it's not surprising that the Kitchener, ON native's return to the solo spotlight is a well-crafted sample of the best material MacLeod accumulated during that time, which included stints with the Skydiggers and Martin Tielli. Fans of his regular appearances in southern Ontario will already be familiar with these songs but the real joy is hearing them in fleshed-out studio versions where MacLeod's magnetic performing abilities, angelic voice and rare gift for melody can be fully appreciated. Although songs like "A Clear Thought," "Lies" and "Blue" lean on his love of Brit-pop, his limitless capacity for melancholy is the album's true hallmark, displayed poignantly on "Virginia" and "Bristol." MacLeod even manages to put a unique twist on country blues with "Down In The Street," which only reinforces the many timeless qualities of the album. Although MacLeod (by his own admission) has not been as active as he should have been over the past several years, Bright Eyes Fade is a huge step forward in rectifying that situation. With this album, he deserves to be recognised as one of Canada's great contemporary singer-songwriters.