CD Reviews

Tyla J. Pallas - 'The State We're In MMXIV' / 'Another Day Abandoned In Pursuit Of Pleasure' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 27, 2015    
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Very fine songs, delivered with passion and care, marking the coming of age of Tyla Pallas.

Ostensibly a double-package (although released individually), 'The State We're In' and 'Another Day Abandoned In Pursuit Of Happiness' come in two formats, The no frills version which is just the CD and DVD and thirty-two page booklet or, for the collectors and fans, a limited deluxe version which additionally has the cover numbered and signed and contains a sticker, a signed/numbered print of the sleeve artwork and a signed/numbered piece of original artwork by Tyla Pallas. You can only buy the deluxe version from Pallas' website .

Taking 'The State...' first, don't mistake this for a re-mix of the first Dogs D'Amour album as it most definitely isn't. The CD contains nineteen tracks; nine are electric adaptations of the songs (except 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head') and ten acoustic adaptations of the same songs. Don't expect also the Glam/Sleazy style of The Dogs from thirty years ago; these are completely re-worked grown up, mature songs. While the original 'Wired And Wide Awake' was recorded in a drug and alcohol fuelled haze, sparking with energy, all over the place, raw – and vaguely reminiscent of The Ramones – this is more like The Faces, assured and rich. The acoustic offering is different again and decidedly more Country in feel. At times it is possible to believe that it is Johnny Cash doing the vocal.

'Don't Ask Me To Say I Love You' is interesting, the original was like a messy, scrappy 1960s Rolling Stones track. The electric version has the feel of the current Stones while the acoustic offering is pure Country with slithery slide guitar. The acoustic 'Unconscious Boy' is sixties Bob Dylan and the electric 'Girl In Black' is positively Joe Cocker-esque. Essentially the "electric" songs have strong country overtones, while the acoustic versions have a strong sixties feel, reminiscent of the Stones, Lou Reed, Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan.

My favourite track is probably 'How Do You Fall In Love Again'. The first time round it was Sleazy and chanty – and so loose it barely held together. There was little experience in the delivery of the lyrics. The new version is the voice of experience – of being in love and starting over again. Same words, yet a completely different meaning, I loved the vocal on this, it reminded me of Jykri 69 of 69 Eyes.

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The accompanying DVD has eight videos for tracks from the album. They are not high end videos and look at times as if they've been recorded on a mobile phone. Having said that, they have been artfully edited; in the eighties, the same look would have probably cost thousands. Personally I thought they were the more charming and personal because of it. It also has some "extras", Pallas explaining the story behind the recording of the first album, some early DD'A promos and a rather bizarre story involving spoons and a penis!

This has clearly been a labour of love for Pallas, you get the feeling that he is rather like a student who didn't put all his effort into his thesis and now more mature, he takes the opportunity to re-work it. This was presumably done for his own satisfaction – although fans of the Sleazy Glam Dogs may not appreciate it. If, like me, you've grown up a bit from your Sleazy youth, then this is a fine red wine compared to the drunken wine-box original.

'Another Day Abandoned In Pursuit of Happiness' is an album of new songs presented in a similar format to 'The State...'. It is a mix of electric and acoustic version of the same songs. Opening with the wonderful 'Tranquilize', it is dark and orchestral, droning and Psychedelic – all enriched by Pallas's gravelly tones. It's like David Bowie meeting Marc Bolan. 'Charmed' reminds me of Reed, beautiful and mournful – a heartfelt tango through darkness. The whole album has a Bluesy Country overtone, 'Hells Gallows' and 'In God's Prison' are pure Country, while 'Aleluya' is much more Rock 'n' Roll.

As with 'The State We're In' the DVD has videos for some of the songs, again they are not high budget, but for me they are the more intimate for it. That said, the sound quality is excellent. If you like the Stones, The Faces and The Quireboys you will be very happy with this in your collection. It is an album of very fine songs, delivered with passion and care and marking the coming of age of Tyla Pallas.

Helen Bradley Owers

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