Sometimes, artists burst out of their respective scene with a real humdinger straightaway. Most of the time, however, music takes time to settle into and own, regardless of passion. For every Jackson 5 bursting out of the scene in preadolescence, there’s a Chaim Tannenbaum who has spent decades honing his craft and hasn’t become known to the world until he’s matured fully as a songwriter and performer. This writer made it abundantly clear that there was a gem somewhere in the midst of what was not the greatest produced album of all time with Paul Maged’s Light Years Away, but the real question is whether or not he’s notably improved with his brand new follow-up.
The short of it all is essentially this: yes. On The Glass River, everything concerning Maged’s delivery as a musical artist has vastly improved. As evident as it is that this is a primely independent release, he has honed-in on the number one issue that plagued Light Years Away in regards to production value. This alone has greatly amended the rocker’s track record now that it’s clear he’s not destined to a life of producing low-quality sound. It’s not grade-A studio work, but what he’s churning out here is serviceable sound, especially for the grittier edges of his punk trade.
So, the real test here and now is whether Maged is up to the task as a songwriter and performer, considering how much better the mixing here is on The Glass River compared to his previous release. The short here is, once again, yes! Although this doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the quality of his lyricism and arrangements on Light Years Away, The Glass River still features a much more succinct vision for the artist to deliver. He delivers it well, too, with a strength to his voice that utterly fits the type of music and the in-your-face messages of political anguish that he so righteously delivers—as any folk artist would hope to.