I’ve done a bunch of Paula Cole posts. When I reviewed her album 7 I talked about how I first discovered her, how good she is live on This Bright Red Feeling, and how she helped propose to my partner when I blogged about Ballads. Now her new album Revolution is out and it’s the album that all previous albums have led up to. This is the album that fans from any era of Paula’s career can come back to and know she’s still making amazing and relevant music.
Before Revolution, Paula released a single “Hope Is Everywhere” which isn’t part of Revolution but was a taste of what was to come, like a “hurricane of love”. The song starts out in a traditionally smooth Paula way and then takes such an unexpected dance turn that I thought Donna Summer had been resurrected.
Revolution is about equality and unity in lyrics and genres of music. Just like “Hope Is Everywhere” unifies Paula’s sound with disco, “Shake The Sky” has a hoedown gospel feel that grabbed my attention and won’t let go. Paula’s pop sensibilities are brought out on “Go On”, “Undertow (One Life Lost)” has a dark 80’s rock vibe with raspy background singers, and the heavily socially-conscious “Universal Empathy” has Rasta Paula on vocals. As always, there’s plenty of piano playing and big beautiful balladry on songs like “Blues In Gray”, “Silent”, and Dhammapada”.
Before Paula served her amuse-bouche (I’ve been watching too much of The Food Network) of “Hope Is Everywhere”, she gave a hint of the future when she put a different (and, in my gay opinion, better) version of “7 Deadly Sins” as a bonus track on her Kickstarter version of Ballads. When I heard it, I thought it was the best Paula Cole song in years and wished for a whole album as good as that song. Revolution is that album.