It is always interesting to review a CD after having an opportunity to interview the artist, and especially after having had the opportunity to hear them live, (in this case at Rayzr's Pub in Yorkton), before spinning their CD. That was the way things played out in the case of Pamela Pachal's debut CD Chapter 1.
The interview let me in on a couple of Pachal's secrets, including what is something of a late turn to music after an extended shot at women's hockey including a try-out with the Canadian National Team. The later start perhaps gives Pachal a slightly different take on her debut CD. At least it comes off as a more mature take on music than you sometimes find in a debut. That isn't to say the material isn't contemporary. In fact, Pachal does a nice job of putting a modern music twist on a style that also has clear ties to blues and folk.
As for hearing Pachal live, well it spoke volumes to the passion she has for her own music. Almost without exception, her strongest songs through two sets were songs from her debut disk, or new material she is working on for her next recording. When she turned to covers, the effect of her presentation took a noticeable dip. Stick with your own tunes on stage too.
While Pachal, like most artists, was hesitant to pick a favourite cut off the CD, she did admit to a special place in her heart for Peggy (Perfect), a song written for a mentally challenged adult Pachal had worked with. Both on the disk, and on stage, this one comes across with definite emotion.
That said, Peggy (Perfect) is not the best cut here. The best include a pair of songs, both with mature content names that preclude being printed here. Yes there is profanity here, and the songs come across as real, and relevant to the times, because of it.
Love Song, Superman, Give Me Your Night, and Butterfly, also warrant mention among the 13 cuts here, all of which Pachal wrote and produced.
Overall, Pachal has a nice voice, compelling lyrics, and straight forward but effective instrumentation, which combine to create a fine first CD. I certainly recommend this one, and look forward to her follow-up effort.
Check her out at www.myspace.com/pamelapachal
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 24, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada