A Review of the Nathan Caswell CD
"pulp town"

"pulp town"
by Nathan Caswell

Copyright 2005

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Nathan Caswell looks at the world a bit differently than you or I. Well, maybe I should speak only for myself as I cannot vouch for the psychological state of readers of this review. Just take a look at his song titles listed below: there are two 'nakeds' out of eleven songs, orthodontics, a 'chapless' (well, maybe chapped) cowhand, some monkey business, hirsute paramours and more.

This nomenclature evokes images of a circus that just pulled into town and, in a way, this is Caswell's Traveling Show, with himself as ringmaster. It definitely isn't your standard Barnum and Bailey, although no animals, except one, were harmed during the making of this CD.

The lowdown on the songs: "pretty girl" cannily displays the tortured thinking of one who figuratively paralyzes himself from ever makingcontact with another human being. "my teeth" tackles the 'improvements' humans undergo to better what nature provided us. "naked cowboy," about a Times Square fixture, tackles many avenues about the protagonist but curiously leaves unanswered if the cow poke suffers from 'shrinkage' in wintertime?

The extremely poignant "this old farm" breaks the shtick. Caswell paints a picture of wearily but stubbornly holding on to a family heirloom despite the worldly changes surrounding such.

The title cut, "pulp town," is primarily a spoken word reminiscence of the spot where Caswell grew up. In "baboon heart," the human recipient of such suddenly develops an extreme fear of--you guessed it--the zoo. "caleb" is a take on the ongoing search for a Canadian identity, with comical mention of the grievous neglect of William Shatner's birthright.

The lament "shave your legs," opens with: "Every single girl I ever dated, stopped shaving her legs and her pits..." Caswell seems tobring out the furry in his womenfolk.

"megaphone man" details an irksome evangelist who has enough problems of his own to solve. "running naked" contains a nice twist about perception not always being reality and not-so-pretty flapping body parts.

The closing cut, "i won't take it," is laudable in intent but misses the mark. The presentation lacks the gravitas of the lyrics. About being fed up and a desiring personal and world change, it needs to be presented with greater power or anger.

If you enjoy hearing, via a unique prism, about some peculiar inhabitants of this world, this is your ticket.

Nathan Caswell, on vocals and acoustic guitar, is backed by Chris Kuffner on bass guitar; Jim Gillies on acoustic guitar and Rodney Brown on banjo.

Track List:

All songs written by Nathan Caswell.

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