Wisely – Parador / 2006 Ella / 11 Tracks / http://www.wiselymusic.com / Reviewed 29 June 2006
The start of Wisely’s “Parador” is something that has been heard countless times through college radio stations and individuals that are playing guitars in coffee shops. However, the infusion of “This Is Everything” with a certain electronic sound, almost in the vein of a The Sounds-like atmosphere to things, makes Wisely’s music on the disc something fundamentally different from the rest of the music out now. Each of the subsequent tracks on “Parador” allow Wisely to come out with something slightly different. “Too Quick To Love” moves Wisely into an Edwyn McCain type of sound, and while the style has been done before, it has never been done with such a rich instrumentation backing the primarily artist up.
The almost-falsetto achieved during “Stayin’ Home Again” plays the perfect light side to the deeper, world-weary vocals and scratchy guitars that are the common sound during the track. At some point during “Stayin’ Home Again”, Wisely throws in that wonderful bit of synthesizer. Don’t get me wrong, this is not the dance-rock that captured the minds and hearts of youths a few years back with acts like The Rapture, but rather Wisely uses electronic sounds as a garnish to a guitar-driven brand of rock. Even when Wisely plays a slower brand of rock, as is the case with “Erase Me”, there is enough material present during the track to allow for individuals to hold on and never let go.
The insertion of drums and a bass during the second movement of the track really locks individuals in, and instead of being a slow ballad that rehashes the same theme over and over, it is a dynamic track that increases the range that Wisely is capable of. The use of a morose brand of brass during the track puts the icing on the cake, and is the best counterpoint to the much more loud and brash follow-up to the track, in “Altitudes”. Wisely is the type of individual that looks very predictable from the onset, but after listening to “Parador” a few times, one will learn that the one thing that Wisely is is not predictable. Here’s to hoping that Wisely can cut another batch of eir pleasant and pointed, but still ultimately friendly guitar-laden indie rock. Without anything really weak on “Parador”, it seems like Wisely has reached a plateau; it will only be a matter of time to see whether Wisely can continue along this high path of achievement.
Top Tracks: Stayin’ Home Again, Altitudes