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Quiet State of Panic

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Quiet State of Panic album cover
01
Alone All Day
4:33
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02
Ghost
3:51
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03
Pianos, Silence and Bricks
3:36
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04
Wait
2:33
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05
This Weary Boy
5:47
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06
Your Name Is Icarus
3:58
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07
Fire Theft
2:51
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08
Expire
4:14
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09
The Ways and Means
4:04
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10
Shoot First
4:43
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11
Perfect Someday
3:41
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 11   Total Length: 43:51

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They Say All Music Guide

Singer/songwriter’s albums walk a fine line: throw in too much instrumentation and one runs the risk of sounding like a show-off, or raise the question, why not just form or rejoin a band?. Throw in too little and you end up sounding sparse and weedy. With A Quiet State of Panic, his second full-length album, Paul Michel has found the perfect balance, accentuating his solo status while simultaneously creating a set filled with glittering atmospheres. Bringing in a drummer, as well as a cellist for two tracks, Panic revolves around Michel’s fabulous guitars, layers and layers of them, strumming, chiming, and riffing across the grooves. The fabulous production is clean enough to allow listeners to pick each one out, but dense enough to add glamour, elegance, and majesty as required to the numbers. Those familiar with Michel’s work already know his influences are diverse, but that point is furthered here with extreme subtlety. The otherwise lush and brooding, cello-laced “Alone All Day,” has a sliver of metal within, “Expire” hints at jazz, “The Ways and Means” nods to the Rolling Stones, “Ghost” to the Cure, and “Pianos, Silence and Bricks” to U2. Pick a style, a space in time, a genre, and Michel can take it and bend it to his will, even electro-fired sounds are transmuted here, as on “Shoot First,” which is obviously inspired by the Bristol sound (e.g. Tricky and Massive Attack), his guitar dipping and dripping blues through the juttery rhythm and dubby production. The music is absolutely phenomenal, supple and shifting between bright, upbeat songs and more atmospheric, introspective numbers. Some numbers are frilled with pop, others start out sparse than swell into glorious fullness, indie-styled rockers rub shoulders with sweet, elegant ballads, outright rockers kick their way through fingerpickin’ down-home numbers, with the production ensuring each is showcased in its full glory.
The sublime, thoughtful lyrics lean inevitably towards the personal and interpersonal, all delving deep into the emotional. In Michel’s hands, even the Greek myth of Icarus is easily transformed into a modern morality play. The backings initially overshadows his words, pushing you to play the set again and again until all its textures, atmospheres, moods, and meanings finally break through, and each time, you’ll discover yet another lyrical and musical layer to explore. – Jo-Ann Greene

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