Play to your strengths. It is but a simple saying yet there are plenty of us in the world who fail to apply it when the situation dictates. Paul Raj applied it to his debut EP, thus ‘Pandora’s Box‘ is a combination of supreme vocal harmonies and beautiful piano work, which is all deftly handled by the man himself.
Things open at a decent pace with ‘In Your Presence‘, but it’s with the next two songs that both Paul’s song writing and Ivory tickling skills are shown to be truly outstanding. ‘Lost’ sees him talking about the journey of life as oppose to love, using a slow but constantly evolving set of vocals and chords. He then ups the tempo with ‘Lost My Mind‘. Its dark brooding sorry-for-myself vocals are somehow uplifted by the stuttering, bouncing keys that are crying out for some beat orientated remix treatment.
Although a few of the lyrics carry too much syrup in places (No Other Love), its mature delivery negates much of the schmaltz. Paul is clearly a smart man who realises that too much of a good thing can often become tedious, as any more than 5 tracks of only the piano for company may have seen a few people labelling him a one trick pony, when clearly there is a lot more in the locker. One can only imagine what could be done if Paul used some live instrumentation to keep his Piano company. I look forward to whatever Paul Raj decides to bring to the table next.