The time draws near when the independent titans of rock will give rise to the mother of all indie classic, old-school rock albums that will become the center of the independent sonic solar system, the album that is “Musical Schizophrenia”.
These guardians of authentic guitar-based rock, who together form the power duo of Roger Cole & Paul Barrere, have completed their very own personal history-making, world-shaking soundtrack that will rock your very soul. One can expect nothing but hell-fire rocking from a team that has constantly released a string of singles that has covered everything from acid-rock, progressive-rock, psychedelic-rock, blues-rock and alternative-rock over the last two years.
The album, musically and lyrically, is superb. The 10 tracks on “Musical Schizophrenia” are all excellent examples of the all-encompassing term – ‘rock’. The arrangements are lush and creative while the instrumentation emphasizes acoustic as well as electric textures. Roger Cole & Paul Barrere can rock, but they also have more of a deep subtle feel to their blues-based rock themes, which is in the same caliber as Tull, Floyd and Dire Straits – without forgetting the Americana singer-songwriter influences in the spirit of Tom Petty, Neil Young and Steve Miller. This music is timeless because it is thoughtful, introspective and mature, making relevant social statements along the way.
There was a lot of good music made in the 70’s that had nothing to do with being commercial, that wasn’t made for dancing to and wasn’t for head bangers either. This is what Roger Cole & Paul Barrere take me back to. The type of music that makes you think and feel, without making you become agitated. It can be emotional, it can be dark and it takes you to faraway places in your mind. It’s the kind music you played in a boarding school, alongside Bad Company, Doors and Stones in the prime of your youth.
If you missed albums which are simply created as an artistic expression, look no further. The moment this album opens with the guitar-hook on “The Quiet Man” you will be sent into a dreamy reverie. Then crank up the headphones and totally immerse yourself in the beauty and lushness of “Moto’s Monkey”. Moving on, you would have to search hard to find melodic vocal arrangements as developed as you’ll find on the tracks “Breakdown”, “Breathe”, “Bad Blood” and “Just Keep Walking”.
All throughout the album, the songs are saturated with Roger Cole’s clear and vibrant vocals along with Paul Barrere’s crunchy guitar riffs sprinkled with tasteful leads. In-between, there are streams of acoustic guitar strumming and string-picking played by the two musicians, along with ample piano tones to satisfy your most organic needs. Especially on tracks such as “Mary” and “Sail Away”.
“Musical Schizophrenia” is one of those true gems that commercialized radio will undoubtedly sweep under the carpet — choosing instead to play the usual predictable swill. This is a majestic, soaring, almost spiritual album which features the duo of Roger Cole & Paul Barrere at the very peak of their maturity, energy and excellence. If you want a well-produced album that explores literate themes, with first rate vocals, exquisite playing and vibrant arrangements, you really can’t do better than “Musical Schizophrenia”.
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