CD Review

Paris By Night – “Dawning”

By Marcus Pan

DawningJeanine Acquart, San Antonio’s Best Female Vocalist, Best Songwriter and Sexiest Female Artist for 1994, retains her charming vocals and sweet intensity after her relocation to New York and creation of Paris By Night. PBN creates a light, moody atmosphere with their release of “Dawning,” a ten-track CD that features Jeanine’s quiet yet powerful vocals backed by the acoustic guitar sound of Rico Blythe, Jeff Furlan’s bass and the drum work of Peter Garuccio. Jeanine’s vocals are the forefront of this recording and most other instruments are in support of her style – a quiet and dreamy vocalization that somehow maintains an air of power and seductivity.

Jeanine is already a renowned vocalist who performed with a choral group that traveled throughout Europe prior to her creation of Paris By Night. PBN keeps their music on a quieter scale; they achieve their power through poetic and meaningful lyrics. There’s no blaring guitar riffs, hard bass tracks or heavy drums here. Jeanine slides from chord to chord, moving effortlessly. “Dawning” is a wonderfully relaxing, dark and brooding album. The sound is almost folk-like in its delivery, imbued with melancholy and something close to sadness. Some of the tracks such as “America (Jam)” pick up the pace a bit, but for the most part “Dawning” is a slowly moving, strongly enveloping release that seeks to fade rather than jump into you.

“Easy There” is one of my favored tracks. It’s somewhat faster paced than the other songs here and I rather like the way the lyrics tend to fight and contradict each other; “Uproot, tear down, build upon, Say yes / no now then it begins.” The track previous to this bears the same name as the album. “Dawning” is a very subdued, acoustic song that leans heavily on a Rennaisance or folk sound. Further along the listings is “Coming (Here),” a brooding track that rolls out like a deep wave. The bass is stronger here than elsewhere and lends a kind of drone to the piece. The eighth track, “America (Jam)” is the only one that doesn’t rely as heavily on the moody, acoustic sound. This track is, while not quite blaring, reliant on a more electronic mood. Jeanine’s vocals in this song mix together at various points creating a very ghostlike effect that’s quite riveting. Her voice still carries that near-silent seductive quality while the guitars are more pronounced; almost punk-like. The contradiction of the music versus the folk singer voice lends “America (Jam)” a strong and powerful quality.

PBN has a unique sound combined of folk and dark moods. It’s R.E.M. after heartbreak, or Depeche Mode joins the S.C.A. But neither of these two well-known pop groups have the final, uplifting ingredient – singer Jeanine Acquart. If Paris really is this dark and seductive after the sun sets, I’m booking the next Concorde.

Contact Information:
Seraph Productions
Mail: P.O. Box 13110, Chicago, IL, 60613-3110
WWW: http://www.seraphonline.com
E-Mail: info@seraphonline.com

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