Full disclosure: I know Dan Paul Roberts, the artist behind the new album The Make Up, and I love him to pieces. I first met Dan Paul when I got a job working on some websites he designed, and over the years that we worked together we became great friends. Dan Paul is always talking about magick, and a few years ago he moved to New York City to explore all the magick one man can handle.
When we first met, we both lived in Dallas, and even then Dan Paul declared that his ultimate dream was to become a pop star. With this new album, The Make Up, I can see that Dan Paul's sound is maturing while maintaining the fresh inventiveness that was his signature even way back then. One of the things that I've always loved about Dan Paul's songwriting is his ability to play with lyrics, even in the middle of seemingly serious songs about loss and heartache. You never know when Dan Paul will slyly arrange the words in such a way as to sound like he's referring to the "dirty" kind of "come..." right before finishing off the line with the word "clean" as he does on the opening track of The Make Up. You gotta listen to every line of this album to really get the playful nature of Dan Paul's inner child, a moniker that is usually kind of cheesy but in this case illustrates perfectly his general world view. Dan Paul likes to have fun, and you can feel that in his sound and his words.
The Make Up is a very pretty album. Beautiful undulating pianos move over drum machine beats and various sounds, holding the album together with a common thread of smooth pop sound. It's got dancey elements without being dance music, which just adds to the feeling of lightness that imbues even deep tracks about heavy feelings with a sense of peace. Knowing Dan Paul like I do, it is this juxtaposition of so many different feelings -- a smooth and beautiful piano line married with lyrics about having lied about loving someone, for instance -- that really is at the heart of Dan Paul's magick (with a "k," always). If you like to explore every nook and cranny of your own emotions, Dan Paul's The Make Up is definitely for you.
To learn more about Dan Paul Roberts and how to get your hands on The Make Up, visit his blog, Wonderful Mess.