Paul Melia – ‘Hold Onto The Colours’ – Review
Today sees the release of ‘Hold onto the Colours’, the debut album by multi instrumentalist singer songwriter Paul Melia. Clocking in at just over the hour mark, the album certainly brings value for money. The album artwork is by James Marsh who’s worked on album sleeves by non-other than 1980’s synth pop masters Talk Talk in the past.
The album is a beautiful combination of keyboard based indie pop rock with an incredible string section. These characteristics are perfectly brought to light on the opening title track before the soft lament of ‘Miss You’ sets in. It’s on the third track ‘Think All Day’ though that Melia really hits his stride. This track is guitar based pop at its best where the guitar sound is complemented so well by the strings creating a stunning atmospheric second half of the track. This continues with the epic 6 minute ‘Everything has an End’, a super catchy tune with a much heavier guitar riff and ‘Flower in my Head’ with its massive crescendo of violins and hard hitting cymbal rush with Melia’s repeated refrain of ‘I’m not just letting you get away from me’.
There are plenty of influences that can be heard on ‘Hold onto the Colours’. There’s the 1980’s synth sound of early Depeche Mode or the modern Hurts. Tracks like ‘Light in the Sand’ have a guitar piece, for example, which could have fit perfectly on Coldplay’s last album ‘Mylo Xyloto’. The last few tracks on ‘Hold onto the Colours’ are all excellent. Melia really steps it up further showing us his talent for mixing up his sounds. It’s great that not all the songs sound alike . . . ‘As the End Approaches’ is a grunge rocker, whereas ‘Coma’ is an acoustic number on which Melia gives his best vocals.
Although there’s nothing ground breaking on ‘Hold onto the Colours’ it’s certainly an excellent debut album and a brilliant building block for a solid career. The album is being launched tonight at The Academy 2 on Dublin’s Abbey Street at 8pm, tickets are available at the door for €5.
Review by Leon Byrne