Here's a review of Paul is Making Me Nervous by Sara Holdren of "gunslinger." magazine:
The first time I listened to Paul Is Making Me Nervous, I thought, "Hey, this is pretty good." The second time, I definitely caught myself humming along and thinking, "Heyyy, this is pretty great." The fourteenth time, my roommates became nervous. Okay, so that's a slight exaggeration (it was really more like the twelfth), but I am going somewhere with all this. Point being: independent singer/songwriter Paul Fidalgo has come out with his first record, and hey. It's really great. Professional actor, D&D enthusiast, and all-around rock-star, Paul Fidalgo has created a first album that's equal parts catchy and contemplative. Paul Is Making Me Nervous is colorful, clever, pretension-free rock from beginning to end. And just to make things more impressive, there's a remarkable amount of variety within this already promising framework. There's the witty, neurotic opener "Running Gag," a fun, upbeat rock song in which Fidalgo realizes that being "a punch line, a solid bit, an easy laugh" maybe isn't all that bad after all. There's also the beautifully delicate love song "Sing You To Sleep (Road Lullaby)." "Stabbed In The Throat" is a self-aware, alt-country-tinged melody, and both "Five Billion Years" and "Selfless" are powerful comments on this country's depressing status quo. There's the grungy, garage-rock "Grain of Salt," the addictive and bright-guitared "What's Good For Me," and the quirky, pop-in-a-good-way "Information Desk Girl." Paul Is Making Me Nervous is one of those rare, fantastic albums that grows on you with every listen, the kind where your favorite song keeps changing because each one is fascinating and unique. Paul Fidalgo's first record is entirely self-produced, and the attitude such an endeavor must have taken really shows. There's a confident, free-spirited feeling to this album; it's smart, it's personal, and it's refreshingly free of all that self-conscious indie elitism. Paul may be making someone nervous, but he's definitely making me happy. This album roles an 18 in Charisma and Intelligence. It's a Critical Hit!
Okay, here's what Paul says about his own music:
I am, simply, making music that I would want to listen to myself. I am not reinventing the wheel. That would be stupid. They already invented it. Most of the time, I think my songs deal with the basic theme of wanting to be better than you are (or than you allow yourself to be), both in the positive and negative sense. But what I really want is to be a wheel-maker. Wait. No.
For a better idea, I'd say take a little Ben Folds, mix with some hearty Toad the Wet Sprocket and Matthew Sweet in a casserole dish, add a dash of Barenaked Ladies and They Might Be Giants for flavor, and then drop them off a building. Make sure there's someone below to catch it. That's me.
So go ahead right now and listen to the song samples. Go on. It'll just take a couple of minutes. I'll wait here.
Done? Good. You liked it, right? You're thinking, "Hey, it's catchy and fun, but it got me thinking and feeling, too." I think by now you're totally disarmed and ready to buy the album. And tell all your friends. Right?
Here's some stuff about me:
I was born in 1977 in Denver, Colorado and I haven't been back since. I've spent the vast majority of my life in various areas of New Jersey, but I do not want your pity. I attended Richard Stockton College in south Jersey, and got a vague degree in theatre, after which I ran away to New York to find my fortune. Instead, I found unemployment and later, Shakespeare. I've been working as an actor since 1999, and composing, arranging, and directing music with various theatre groups, sometimes touring, sometimes not. Now I'm trying very hard to get your attention with my songs.
Is it working? Let me know.