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Jakob Samuel - 'Pastpresent' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/dd/52/9a/3066_jakobsamuelpastpresent_1356044076.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     December 20, 2012    
 
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Debut album by the singer of the Poodles.

Best known to us as the singer of the Poodles, “Pastpresent” is the debut solo from Jakob Samuel but if you are expecting anything remotely like the Poodles forget it, this is way off the mark.

Jakob is from a musical family, his father a well known Swedish Composer and Musical Director and Jakobs daughter is in the Swedish pop group Love Generation. The album even features a guest appearance/duet with his daughter Cornelia and, to be honest, sounds like it could be a family affair as I would describe the overall sound of the CD as “show tunes”. Most of the numbers on here would not be out of place on the West End stage. There are rock elements but in general this is MOR, not AOR!

Kicking off with 'Stars And Grace', is a mid tempo number which to be honest rings slightly of Robbie Williams (he of Take That fame). It's pleasant enough but not a great album opener as it really lacks any sort of bite. It's slightly concerning that by the second track reaching its mid point I am losing the will to live. 'Even If' is a fairly orchestrated number but just doesn't get going. 'Carry On' is straight off the stage, it must be. Michael Ball could sing this one...I am sure you are getting the drift by now.

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Thankfully, by the fourth track, 'When I Close My Eyes', we get some semblance of Rock, albeit West Coast rock, a duet with Viktoria Tolstoy. Laid back Toto sounding material but without the Lukather guitar work. You get the feeling by this stage this album is going to inoffensive and nice to listen to. However, that's it, but not NICE! 'I Am What I Am' raises the bar slightly and smacks of late 70's solo albums... bluesy, big almost gospel choir backing on the chorus but still lacks any form of get up and go. I swear to god the metronome was stuck on 60 beats a minute when this album was recorded! The intro to 'Together' reminds me of Sparks but we are back to the Take That sound... I’m really trying to be objective here, but it’s hardly Fireworks / Rocktopia readership fare…

Up next 'Sing Me Another Song'....actually, please don't. If this was a cast recording of a show I'd get it, but it's not and I really don't get it at all. Jakob clearly has a penchant for different styles but mixed as they are on here it doesn't work. A 49 second interlude follows in Swedish, can't fault that. 'Somewhere' is the duet with Jakobs daughter, perfect Eurovision material apart from the fact it's a minute over the 3 mins allowed for entry into that great competition.

OK, sorry Mr Editor...I can't handle any more. I really can't! If you are an avid collector of Poodles (related) material then you will want this album. There is a market for this, somewhere. Your Grandmother would love it…!

Steve Price

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