One of the most common practices preached upon in the entertainment industry is constructive criticism. If an actor performs poorly, the director must take matters into his or her own hands and solve the issue by not only critiquing the performance, but by dictating and demonstrating how that scene could be improved to his or her liking.
Nothing artistic ever goes by the word “perfect” as perfection is subjective, but constructive criticism theorizes that even the utterly horrible expressions of art are fixable, with room for improvement.
Call it background noise, elevator music, or a case of “The Coldplay Cold,” group Pacanomad suffers from an illness diagnosed as blending into the plain, white, vanilla flavored backdrop. More specifically, “The Coldplay Cold” refers to multiple songs that sound the same. As though listeners wouldn’t be able to decipher one song from the next, and before you know it, you’ve listened to the whole album. Twice.
To address the concept of constructive criticism, Pacanomad’s saving grace rests in the powerful, smoky voice of Chantel Rivard. Compared to the vocals of Florence + The Machine’s leading lady, Florence Welch, and singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, Rivard’s strong pipes stand as the silver lining between sounding like a wine mixer’s background jam group and becoming a solid band that sells out tickets at a killer venue such as the Hollywood Bowl.
At the risk of sounding like a complete pessimist, Pacanomad’s EP, Restless, has the opposite effect. Restless lacks any sort of catchy hook, or memorable chorus that entices listeners to dance, or idiotically sing in the car amongst standstill L.A. traffic – anything that falls under restlessness. Dare it be said, Restless deems dull, boring, and restful enough to sing us to sleep.
Do not hesitate to stand behind Rivard’s talents alone, but it’s the ever-changing tempo and beat of her song “Till It’s Mine” that throws a wrench in the system.
Getting into the groove of any song feels like an effortless, natural reflex; a cartoon drawing of light bulb illuminates above your head with the sound of a Ding! An instant connection forms, and imagery runs wild. Pacanomad fails to transport listeners anywhere far from that wine mixer, live music restaurant, or wedding ceremony that they were paid to perform at. Suddenly, the angel on my shoulder reminds me to be constructively critical.
Pacanomad attempts to reach levels of old school, soulful rock, but lacks that instrumental punch to do so. Insert some guitar riffs, drum solos, overdrive vocals like that of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” — anything to put a fist in the air; any extra oomph to put into an otherwise lackluster EP.
With that said, Pacanomad have gained much attention thanks to Internet music releases, and playing shows around their hometown of London, Ontario, Canada. Pacanomad’s music currently resides on a local level, but with a second album in the works, due for release in early 2015, the foursome group remains excited for what their new material shall bring.
Sophie is a recent graduate from Arizona State University with a BA in Film and Media Studies. Born in London, and raised in Prague, she is a natural born traveller, which led to exploring Southeast Asia and most recently, Alaska. Whilst traveling, she’s expanded her knowledge and passion for foreign film and music. Upon moving to Los Angeles, she’s worked on television sets, a 2014 Sundance short, and participated in a live taping of “America’s Got Talent.” Sophie’s attentiveness for music began at seventeen, when she first gained access to the senior lounge’s speaker system, and often got into trouble for blasting explicit lyrics through her high school’s hallways. In her free time, Sophie spends countless hours at the movies, tattoo parlors, and local dog parks.