Wednesday, 9 September 2009

My Paper Made Men- Amy Studt Album Review

My Paper Made Men is the 2nd Studio album by Amy Studt, released digitally in 2008, featuring 10 new tracks.

The cover is a very stylish and personal design. I really like the two almost paper cut men as a frame for Amy Studt. The window effect works well. The simple orange background is also successful as it does not overcomplicate the design, or draw focus away.

As a second album, she got the cover art spot on!

1. Sad, Sad World
The album starts with a rather "interesting" song. The intro sounds as if it will be a typical Amy song, sounding similar to her previous album hits, but it breaks the mould as the singing and tune is very special. There is an awkwardness in the song, which works very well, almost like a tainted world.

There is a sad undertone, yet has uplifting elements. This song is very unique and does not conform to generics, which make this song memerable, and just by hearing the name, you can hear the song. I must admit that songs like this are very difficult to just "latch on to" immediately, but after listening to it again and again, you will GET it...

Although I was slightly bemused by the middle (coda?) where it goes all quiet and Amy is reduced to whispers. This was haunting but the repetition of the intro after was slightly confusing as well...

2. She Ran
This second song I feel is the closest Amy gets to a pop rock genre, and sounds alot like songs from her previous album, Misfit. This is a nice transition, as a second track, so we are not immediately thrown into this new style.

I really like the lyrics, and the song as a whole. Whilst the song conforms more to general song techniques there is an element of uniqueness, and this more upbeat song has a serious undertone which makes it NOT just pop which gets forgotten a week later.

This is perhaps one of my favourite songs.

3. Furniture
Furniture has a dark undertone, but again, is a lyrical masterpiece. I love the lyrics, and the dark tones, the tune, it is just mastered well. Originally I thought it was a bit depressing, but there is just so much meaning.

This song is also NOT easy to get into, but the chorus is just phenomenal. Again, this is one of the better tracks.

4. She walks Beautiful
Another slightly more upbeat track. This is one of my favourites as well due to the message in the song. From the first verse it draws you in easily and the change in tempo and tone makes this song powerful.

This song also allows Amy to show off her vocals, and they are great vocals which get underappreciated.

5. One Last Cigarette
I didn't really like this song when I first heard it, and even rated it 2 stars on my Windows Media Player. However, since listening to it recently again, it makes much more sense, and even just rating the lyrics it gets atleast a 4 star.

The song is slightly eerie, and gives an imagery of loneliness and again has a dark tone. However, there is a timeless quality about it, which gives it a potential to be a classic.

6. Nice Boys
On the surface, this song may just be another pop song... but it means so much more. The message of the song, the difference in message... this is one of my favourites again.

The quick tempo and upbeatness, whilst is fantastic as a pop song, is not what this song is about. I love that the messages are almost hiding in this tune, and you really have to listen to it to understand.

7. Walking Out
This song is easily forgotten. I personally can't think what this song is like just by looking at the name and have to hear it. But it has an addictive quality about it as well, whilst the chorus is somewhat ghostly and eerie.

The song overall is good, its not great. 4*

8. Chasing The Light
Another one of my favourites, as it has a powerful chorus! There are dark undertones hidden in the upbeat-ness of the song. The change of tone and tempo, again, like She Walks Beautiful, is a common technique used in this album, and works VERY well.

It is not SHOUTY at any point, and it is subtle which makes this a very enjoyable song.

9. Paper Made Men
Placing the album title song 9th on the tracklist says something. I personally found this really dark and slightly gruesome lyric wise but the messages, once you understand it, relieve the song of its "voodoo" quality. Once I got to this state, I found this song SO enjoyable, and has become one of my favourites.

10. Here Lies More
I also forget this track, and can't picture what its like until hearing it. It has a soft intro, and continues through as a soft song, but again has a powerful chorus. This soft finish is a fantastic touch to the whole album.

The eerie quality carries through in this song through the echoes, which provides consistancy. This song isn't one of my favourites but its good.

This album can be bought on Amazon for under £10.

I was a big fan of Amy Studt after her singles "Under the thumb" and "Misfit" from her first album, and upon hearing the release of this album decided to try it, expecting pop rock tracks... boy was I disappointed. Upon first listening to it, I found the songs too depressing, and the dark tones just weren't me. Some songs "She walks Beautiful" and "Chasing the Light" were just bearable and were played no more than 40 times when I gave up whilst some tracks didn't even get past the 3 mark.

After reading the other review of My Paper Made Men on here, I decided to give it a second go, and I really like it. "My Paper Made Men" is a big transition from Amy's youth and contains many serious messages. Most of her songs sound personal, and the lyrics are written extremely well. Whilst some of the tunes or melody of the songs sound awkward it all works well, and is consistant.

Amy has a great voice and the lyrics in these songs are phenomenal, yet somehow people don't seem to know her and she is underappreciated and underrated.

The whole album has a slightly dark and satyrical feel about it, whilst some more upbeat songs merged in allow for a smoother transition from the old Amy to the new.

This album ISN'T for everyone, and for those used to the "old Amy" may find this too much to bear. But I do ask you to give her a second chance like I did, and you might just like it.

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