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Album Review
Pajama Club

Pajama Club
by Pajama Club

Lester Records

Review Date
29th September, 2011
Reviewed by
Nik O’Connell

Legend has it that one night whilst mucking around in their pajamas Neil Finn and his wife Sharon picked up instruments and starting jamming around. I’m sure this happens all the time in households throughout New Zealand, only Finn has some serious musical credentials and when one such as he decides to do such a thing the possibilities for what may follow are endless.

So if you expect to hear Neil playing guitar then you will be disappointed as he sits behind a drum kit whilst Sharon plays bass and the couple have enlisted the talents of Shaun Donnelly (SJD) to give it some serious electronic love: thus Pajama Club was formed.

A fairly lo fi project, Pajama Clubs debut is playful yet simplistic. Obviously the trio have garnered a sound they are familiar with and undoubtedly know that the boundaries they have installed allow for this effort to be easy on the ear yet polished enough to exert their professionalism.

The thing that strikes most about Pajama Club is that you can tell that this sounds comes naturally to them; the tracks are catchy and rather basic in terms of sound and as Neil does the majority of the singing Sharon does a great job of backing up his vocals, none more so than on track ‘Golden Friend’. A prolonged organ haunts this track behind a simple drumbeat whilst the Finns softly sing melodically as the background sound becomes less and less noticeable. They do compliment each other rather well.

Sharon takes over the lead vocals in ‘Go Cart’, which is one of the more upbeat tracks on the album. It has a dirty garage riff throughout the chorus that gives the track some balls and accompanies the electronic diversification that Donnelly is pouring throughout. This is one track that gives way to the notion that the threesome were having a lot of fun in making these songs and it must be said that Sharon is not out of place when taking up the vocals.

Given the royalty that is the Finn family it’s not surprising that they have produced an album that has substance and is easy to listen to. They have been in the industry long enough to know what works, what doesn’t and what their limitations are in terms of making an album that generally is faultless as they have decided on a keep it simple and basic formula. It is clear that they have put some time into production as the final sound is slick, competent, engaging and the tracks are catchy.

Pajama Club closes with ‘Diamonds in her Eyes’, a track about an impression that was left upon a first meeting and the ensuing encounters that follow. It is a great closer to an album that is comparative to the track itself as it is somewhat of a gem and it does leave an impression.


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