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Papa M - Three Songs

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Artist: Papa M

Album: Three Songs

Label: Drag City

Review date: Apr. 9, 2002

David Pajo has certainly staked his claim as one of the most important and influential musicians of modern music. He played on such Slint’s Spiderland and Tortoise’s TNT, two of the most influential rock records of the nineteen-nineties. He’s wandered off on his own under the names M, Aerial M, and most recently, Papa M. His last full-length, Whatever, Mortal, was a revelation. For a fella who spent lots of time playing music with little or no words, we found that Papa M had something to say. Beginning with the Papa M Sings ep, Pajo has explored the dusty roads traveled by a century of American visionaries. Whatever, Mortal, released in late 2001, was a beautiful record about longing and hope. Since then he’s been scattering his songs on split seven-inches, compilations and eps. His newest, entitled Three Songs, comes from Drag City and is available on a tiny three inch cd.

“Rainbow of Gloom” is a plaintive fingerpicked ballad, comprised solely of Pajo’s harmonica, guitar and high lonesome voice. It begins with the grave lines “winter had its way with me/summer never comes/how long must I wait for thee/while the water runs.” The song is comparable to some of the most moving from Whatever, Mortal. “Lo the Rose Cease to Bloom” is another acoustic number with beatific harmonies and fingerpicking. “O Kentucky” is an anthem on par with Mortal’s “Krusty,” an instrumental with piano, drums and guitar. The acoustic strumming intertwines with Papa M’s beautifully incandescent electric guitar tone. Pajo has developed a knack for writing songs that are palliative and comforting, songs that help to cure what ails ye.

By Andy Cockle

Other Reviews of Papa M

Whatever, Mortal

Hole of Burning Alms

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Find out more about Drag City

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