Not to be confused with the New York mobster and member of the Genovese crime family, Joseph Pagano is a singer songwriter with a long, yet relatively unknown, history in the music industry. Yet he's not without inspiration. The larger direction of his musical inspiration and creation came from legendary guitarist Stanley Jordan. Through a music clinic and additional correspondence, Jordan pushed Pagano to pursue his musical passion.
The result, after better than 30 years in the biz, is Pagano's first EP, Graveyard Of Dreams. The title seems ominous, something of a double entendre, perhaps a reflection upon his life. That all his dreams, musically, have died to this point. I'm not a huge fan of singer songwriters to begin with, too much ego, narcissism, and navel gazing. The last thing I need is another one puking out his angst of a failed musical career in some cathartic moment.
But that's not what's here. Sure, like most songwriters, Pagano draws from his life and life observations, but it's not weighty introspection. Actually, there's some encouragement from the inspirational nature of Don't Let Chances Pass You By or Candles Hope & Faith. There's even some family whimsy with Little Girls, an amusing ditty about his two girls in the early years of their life (with a cameo appearance by one).
Most of the songs are wrapped around around his guitar which has a sharp raw sound on the more lively numbers. Yet the guitar work can be more subtle with acoustic guitar as within Rescue Me. But the acoustic eventually dovetails with the sharp electric. After these things, Pagano has a keen sense of melody and the ability to add some catchy, crafty hooks in both lyrics and arrangement. His voice is also melodic and even, yet has this slight edge that matches the sharpness of his guitar. Also he has a familiar timbre to someone else that I have yet to put my finger on. Pagano does offer a single instrumental. Surprisingly, it doesn't revolve around guitar, but piano. The Sounds of Life is both bright and smart, a refreshing number.
To conclude, while I can't say this disc will hit my stereo again anytime soon, I can say I liked Graveyard Of Dreams. Pagano has talent and creativity, and likely the promise of more interesting and entertaining music to come.
After thirty or more years pursing his musical aspirations, singer songwriter and gifted musician Joseph Pagano delivers his first EP of light melodic rock, and it's worth your attention.
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