The Pralines win a person’s trust in the first 10-seconds of the first track on Song of the Day Café allowing any listener to feel really good about falling so easily in trance – or perhaps in love? – with the ingenious grooves of their entire debut album. Instantly reminiscent of some of best groups of the 60s, (including The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas and The Velvet Underground), with elements of country, folk and rock and roll, it is almost impossible not to feel both relaxed and energized as the music sends bursts of goodness in through the ears and out through every limb. Pamela Richardson, the kernel of The Pralines, proves that love of and creativity in music is so far from lost.
It is rare these days to hear such skilled and intricate songwriting sound so natural and free-flowing. If each track on Song of the Day Café were dismantled down to the individual thread of each instrument, each would be a song in itself – from the melodic bass, to the versatile guitars, to the beautifully-employed accordion – there is no filler and absolutely no unnecessary ingredient. Pamela Richardson is a true composer. This rich formula, including her own full, velvety alto vocals, makes you wonder where The Pralines have been all your life. And what on earth you’ve been listening to instead?
And while it’s easy to get lost in the melodies of tracks like ‘Dear Refugee’ and ‘While Bethy Dances’, Ms. Richardson’s lyrics show off another layer of artistic ability not to be overlooked. Within the story of each song lies poetic observation of thought and detail that seems obvious as part of everyday life, yet is lacking in so much modern-day music. “Hills the shade of Indian curry fade as I cross into Missouri” (In Oklahoma) and “I shook up Wall Street but I didn’t know that life could be so lonely when the offices close” (Redeye to Loveland) barely represent the fullness of her narrative. The words Richardson chooses meld perfectly, and range from joyous to longing without ever once coming off as dramatic or angst-ridden.
‘Paris and My Own Life Passing’ truly sweeps the soul away to Paris with Pamela as she strolls through the streets, glimpsing into the lives of others as she reflects upon her own porno. ‘Are You Thinking of Me’ comments almost matter-of-factly on an unavoidable, wonderful, love affair and would make anyone sit back and smile in understanding to have ever felt the same. Depending on the listener, this album could be a refreshing escape from typical mundane life, a nostalgic trip back to youthful days, or a remarkable introduction to a kind of music one didn’t know existed anymore. Anyone who says, “They just don’t write music like they used to,” hasn’t heard Song of the Day Café; don’t forget to point them in the right direction.
And don’t forget to check out The Pralines official web site for more information, and buy the album here.