With Post-Rock giants Tortoise, David Pajo served a vital role playing guitar and helping to shape some of the bandâ€šÃ„Ã´s greatest efforts. Since his departure he has continued to pursue the world of instrumental music, but he has also stretched his legs becoming a songwriter and a vocalist. On his newest album entitled Pajo, David attempts to craft 45 minutes of sublime textural electro-acoustic pop music, often with mixed resultsIn general, the album lacks magic and is plagued with a lot of filler. However, there are moments of inspiration that make you scratch your head and as why it occurs so sparsely. The strongest song on the album, â€šÃ„ÃºMason Twinsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ finds Pajo displaying his knack for enhancing a songâ€šÃ„Ã´s mood with simple instrumentation. In the beginning, soothing arrangements blend with Pajoâ€šÃ„Ã´s hushed voice and gorgeous vocal melody in a Simon and Garfunkle fashion. Midway through the song he introduces glistening percussion, which only heightens its beauty. Not as successful is the rather monotonous â€šÃ„ÃºWar Is Dead,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which offers no delicate flourishes just a repetitive, dirty groove with unimpressive vocals. The rest of the album, aside from the highly textural spoken word â€šÃ„ÃºFrancieâ€šÃ„Ã¹ follows suit and tends to drag on without any interesting qualities.
There are moments on Pajo when one cone could envision David Pajo becoming a very dynamic songwriter. But the majority of it just seems to fizzle out, sounding like a bad rendition of the late Elliott Smith. On the first few Tortoise albums, Pajo proved that he was a gifted instrumentalist, but he has yet to prove himself as a truly gifted songsmith.