Paul Goodwin

Scars Review - Toxic Pete

Published on Thu 2 Oct 2008

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!! At last, a full-blown album from sensational singer-songwriter Paul Goodwin, something to really get me teeth into!! And, yes, it's been well worth the wait! 'Scars' is massive, 'Scars' is amazing!!

I just love Goodwin's understated acoustic way; this guy seems to be able to conjure up emotion from nowhere. Goodwin is, I guess, very much in the Damien Rice mould; he pours out emotional ramblings with heartfelt passion - one moment quiet and stripped bare, the next moment screaming out against dark 'orchestration' and pounding percussion - bloody great!! 'Scars' is a coming together of several years of self-recording and it gives the listener the chance to experience the full force of this exciting music-man in one big go. I just feel the need to comment here on the front cover image, the 'scarred' face of a manikin - I just wonder whether Paul Goodwin is expressing himself here too - is this meant to show the torture and hurt experienced throughout the making of this album and what it stands for - the damage done!!? A picture tells ....etc..!!

Fourteen tracks here to get into, fourteen tracks of musical pleasure, fourteen emotionally driven tracks, fourteen tracks of Paul Goodwin at his very best! This is one scarily good album! Goodwin's lazy but expressive vocal delivery adds a certain honesty to his music; Goodwin is believable and Goodwin is genuine - his lyrics are at times tortured and dark but he also does vibrant and optimistic and it all comes out with the same believability. To single out any individual tracks for special mention here would be totally unfair and almost impossible anyway. Goodwin is a heavenly blessed wordsmith and his subtlety with guitar is at the same time sensuous, descriptive and empathetic. But, Goodwin can also do big and bold; by bringing in cello and violin he adds eerie depth and haunting passion. But, the instrumental augmentation is always minimalist and beautifully proportioned to emphasise rather than over-play. Occasional additional bass, guitar and vocals all work in Goodwin's favour - this guy has a brilliant handle on restrained dynamics and harmony.

'Scars' by Paul Goodwin is as good as anything currently out there; Goodwin demonstrates great songwriting abilities and excellent understanding of what makes good music great music. 'Scars' is an absolute pleasure to behold - an album that's rammed with emotion, stuffed with passion, an album that works in every aspect, an album of refined acoustic music from a genius of musical poetry - a modern-day classic from an extremely talented and totally focussed singer/songwriter. Stunning stuff, absolutely mind-blowin'!!