Paul Maged: Diamonds & Demons
New York City’s own Paul Maged has released Diamonds & Demons, his sophomore effort.
“Annastasia” features a roiling, deep, acoustic (at least at first) with Maged exploring some certainly Paul Simon sonic territory. I like how the shunky sounding almost off-time snare and fat bass inform the song as it opens up. “Blind Faith” is a plodding, simple piano tune with Maged’s higher range rolling over the top, then guitars come in and we are in tight, poppy territory. Those flangy guitars and quite a good jumping bass riffing push the even faster, super commercial “Cause & Effect” as well as the album’s title track, the latter tune featuring a snappy, sardonic lyric, one of the best here I feel.
I like the single-note riffs, tom tom beats and quick lyric of the very fun “Images,” another fast tune, but one I feel works well with Maged pinning his vocal just perfectly and the Buddhist chanting behind it. The powerful, slightly slower, snappy snare of “Last Days” grooves really well too.
“Paradise Island,” with its island waves-chorus-ode-to-Jimmy Buffet, is truly great stuff and probably the most unique sounding tune here, while I do like the short “What is Peace Exitlude,” again with that chanting, a plucky guitar, but ironically probably the best vocal performance from Maged on the entire album, too short as it is though.
There’s a little much sounding the same here for me, but Maged is not without his talents as a songwriter. Diamonds & Demons is a solid effort.