If you are a lover of original music, a person who seeks for inspiration through sound—to feed the urge to dance, to obtain vivid images, to escape from the oppression of reality, to be entertained while feeling a connection to an artist’s vision—you will most likely enjoy the music of Joe Cahill.
Cahill’s newest album, Eclectic Plastic Factory, rocks for many reasons, the first and foremost being that it’s easy to associate with his revelations. In his compositions, he is an open book welcoming you into his heart and mind. While many today seem like they are copying the voices of the past, or a persona they wish to be, Cahill, instead, allows his music be an extension of his unique self. From the first song “Deep in the Dark”, one can imagine that he might be a bit quirky, kind, soft-hearted, excited about love, life and art, but burdened by the pain that comes along with the journey. He might at times be a bit confused, bravely innocent, wondering about the cosmos and wanting to understand himself and others. This is evident through his lyrics and presentation. One wants to hear more, to be a fan, because his music is endearing and vulnerable.
Perhaps the most exciting element in this eclectic collection is the contrast present in every curve of sound. One is never sure where the music might go, the lack of predictability being a big part of the fun! Rock, pop, opera, punk, techno . . . it all seems to be here. The fusion is a beautiful thing, indicative of various melodic styles—a mosaic of flavors, colors and textures. It’s refreshing to be surprised in so many ways!
On personal note, one of my favorite songs on the album is “Mad Love” (along with “Get Down, Get Funky”). The images created, for me, are strong ones. When I listen, I see a man standing in the dark of a dusty, dirty alley, his face lit only on one side by the light of a nearby gaslight. A double holster hangs on his hips, and in each is a microphone. He stands ready to have a showdown with love. The object of his affection is at the other end of the alley, perhaps seated on the ground, silently watching and listening as the man takes turns singing into the microphones. It appears that the song is a duel, a final showdown with love and pain, both strongly present and connected to the object of his affection. In the showdown, he is trying to decide if the strength of the passion he feels is worth the pain that comes with it. The rock beat, the harmony of Cahill’s voice with the background vocals and the use of his operatic style in intermissions (if you will)—it’s all very powerful. I want to know who or what wins at the end of the duel: love or hate, man or woman, pleasure or pain, power or submission. Any song that is able to evoke such strong visuals and concepts is one worth listening to, again and again. In this same way, the album is made of other such evocative songs. . .