Peter Galperin – Perfect World Today – Album Review
New Yorker Peter Galperin has released this seven track mini album / EP entitled “Perfect World Today” in 2010. Already amassing universal support and critical acclaim as being a taste of ‘real’ and truly original material, the album is much more than just easy listening. Sure, you can put your feet up and chill to this collection of sensitive and subtly stirring music as it certainly goes down very easy. However, that would be missing a real trick as Galperin’s smooth tunes and thoughtful lyrics have a lot to offer the serious music lover. Peter has penned these perfect pieces but also produced the album himself, which is a sure-fire way of telling me that the songs appear exactly the way the artist intended them to be – uncluttered and without the corporate spin from the record execs. Always a bonus.
”Hey Little One” is an amazing opening track launching the collection with a vibey laid-back bossa nova groove, setting the scene for what’s to come. Peter’s voice is relaxed and confident, even when dropping in simple harmonies to embellish the lead vocal. The second song “Wonders of The World” slips into salsa mode for just shy of 5 minutes long. I can hear shades of Roxy Music and maybe even a touch of the mighty Talking Heads. Some very interesting flavours are offered up here. For the third track “Action Figure Hero”, Peter continues the salsa beat to which he sets a slightly more rhythmic vocal melody. Again the harmonies are beautifully subtle and sublime. His lyrics here question American politics of late, particularly foreign policy and military operations in the Middle East. In stark and superb contrast, the next track “A Decent Cup” refers to the quest for a quality brew! Peter utilizes some mid-African rhythms here, reminiscent of Paul Simon’s blockbusting “Graceland” album, but there are other appropriate and well-placed flavours particularly in the form of the understated accordian. The title track “Perfect World Today” is an poignant look at our 21st Century landscape from materialism and consumerism all the way to politics, warfare and terrorism. By far and away, my favourite track has to be “Brand New Gadget”. A dark and mysterious piece, offering us something different again, yet still expertly in-keeping with the style of the rest of the set. The latinesque melodies and beautiful arrangement make this a real stand out track and an obvious lead single. The mini album reaches it’s conclusion with the gracefully sparse and emotive “You Know It’s Over” another bossa nova rhythm with a little more darkness and mystique.
The overall mix of this CD is not exactly legendary, however, what it lacks in sonic vibrancy it more than makes up for in musical prowess and entertainment value. It has been carefully mastered not to be over-cooked and I’m glad that there are still artists and engineers out there attempting to preserve the true dynamic of sound rather than squeezing the life out of it. Hats off to who-ever held back on the big compression lever! Perhaps the only real negative point I can make here is that the album is far too short. With material this good, it leaves you feeling just a little deflated when the disk stops just short of 30 minutes.
In conclusion, this album offers so much substance and genuine class that all Peter really needs is to stay true to himself and continue churning out great quality material like this. A follow up can only build on what is already a decent set. It’s a real honour and privilege to be able to review a CD of this calibre and this is definitely an artist that I will be keeping a close eye on in the future.
– Neil Thomas (UK)
To learn more about Peter Galperin and preview tracks from “Perfect World Today, check out petergalperin.com