On his most recent full-length, the enigmatic Jerry Paper fuses jazz, pop, drum machines and his expressive vocals to create a record with a unique vibe. Vocally, the closest comparisons to Paper are Matthew Dear or Dent May and the music that accompanies him sounds like a restrained, lo-fi Talking Heads. The tunes here are meticulously produced but still liberated enough as to not take themselves too seriously.
Paper’s occasional goofball disposition invokes comparisons to Mac DeMarco. But while the record feels bright and carefree, the topics that Paper tackles are anything but. “The Big Fight” finds Paper trying to take care of his wife in a world filled with “Greedy Motherfuckers” who want to drain him dry of all he's worth. On lead single “Destroy,” Paper questions why our lives are “worth less than leaves,” and longs for a world with “no more bad guys” or “war machines.”
Paper doesn’t offer many solutions to these problems, but his observations are poignant. Luckily for the listener, the music is still fresh and fun enough to keep Carousel from sounding like some manifesto you read in Sociology 301 last semester.
Best Tracks: #8 “The Big Fight” / #5 “Destroy” / #9 “Greedy Motherfuckers” / #1 “Waistoid”
Indecencies: #1, #2, #9