Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

The Pale-Gravity Gets Things Done

November 28, 2004

thepaleBand Name: The Pale

Album Name: Gravity Gets Things Done

Best element: Singable, happy, lovable.
Genre: Piano-driven pop

Website: www.thepale.com

Label name: Sidecho Records www.sidecho.com
Band e-mail: adam@aerobooking.com

I desperately miss the Ben Folds Five. Ben Folds is still running around doing his solo thing (which I love as well), but he’s not taking a band with him. The world needs a piano-led pop band- it’s just part of the world’s greater order. Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Elton John, Billy Joel, Ben Folds Five- every era has had a piano led band that people can get behind. There’s just not that type of thing in this era, unless you count Coldplay, but they’re too serious in their music.

The Pale is here to change that. Although not as heavy into keys as any of those bands, their music is still brilliant keys-based pop- from the perfect, escape-inside-this vocals, the effective guitar work, the beautiful keys backdrops, to the extra songwriting touches that make a song (Sleigh bells, oh-oh’s, stuff like that).

Yes, the Pale is ridiculously likeable, and unlike so many bands that are ridiculously likable, there’s actually some good songwriting sense behind their songs! The standout track here is the title track “Gravity Gets Things Done”- a song that actually doesn’t have any piano in it. The rhythm guitars punch with just the right amount of aggression as the second guitar plays some really cool chords for contrast, while the vocals offer up the most infectious melody I’ve heard since the Killers’ “Somebody Told Me”. The song has a crescendo towards the last chorus, and a decrescendo away from it, making this a stellar song in all aspects.

The only problem with this album is the thing that plagues so many good albums- tracks that would be good on other albums feel like filler due to the outstanding quality of songs placed next to them. Case in point: “Reasons to Try” is a great upbeat pop song that’s sandwiched between the sentimental “How to Fit In” and the morose, yet entrancing “The Crash”- both of which kick “Reasons to Try” in the butt. It’s not that “Reasons to Try” is a bad song- it’s just not enjoyable because the other ones here are SO enjoyable. This problem can only be avoided by refining the songwriting craft and making all of an album’s songs amazing.

The charming sheen of “Wake-Up Call” includes a trombone; and there’s nothing more hilarious than that- period. The second-best track here is definitely “We Never Fight or Disagree”, based out of an intricate guitar line and a hilariously sarcastic lyrical idea- the song starts out proclaiming how a girlfriend and a boyfriend never fight, then describes how they actually fight a lot and they’re just fooling themselves. It’s hilarious, yet sadly true in some places. Social commentary….man, this just keeps getting better.

Pop albums were not made in vain- all pop albums are made to be enjoyed by happy people or to cheer sad people up. The Pale’s “Gravity Gets Things Done” actually succeeds in doing that- the charm, finesse, and charge of The Pale is taking them to great heights in the pop world- so much so that they occasionally overshadow themselves. I cannot wait for more material by the Pale.

– Stephen Carradini

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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