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Chapell - Penultimate

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Alan Chapell reveals himself to be one perceptive lyricist with his full-length album Penultimate. He sings a little like one of the Bee Gees, with a distinct vibrato. Stylistic arrangements are a mixture of rock and folk, with "Sandinista" mixing together both violin with guitars. These are passionate performances, which make this an album of pop with purpose.

The aforementioned "Sandinista" revisits the situation in Nicaragua, which - admit it - is a nation you probably haven't thought much about since the Reagan administration. Chapell, in addition to his musical chops, is also an expert on internet privacy. "I Am Zuck," for instance, takes a few shots at Facebook's Mark Zukerberg. The song incorporates violins and mariachi horns and includes lyrical and sonic references to the Beatles' "Elenore Rigby." It's a uniquely engaging track.

Some may remember The Clash's memorable three-record set, Sandinista. At the time, it seemed as though only an angry band like The Clash was suited to comment on the political atmosphere in Nicaragua. However, with Penultimate, Alan Chapell proves he can apply gentler pop music to this issue (and others) just as effectively.

Chapell - Penultimate
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