Modern Music Album Review - Mississauga's Arlene Paculan's "Home With You"

Mississauga's award-winning singer/songwriter/musician/artist and all-around wonderful woman Arlene Paculan has released her third album, "Home With You" and after listening to it several times,  it's clear that she continues to solidify herself as a major talent.

Her six word description of the album: Emotional rollercoaster created by awesome talents.

As you listen to the album, the theme moves from sad/heartbreak to happy and optimistic, which was a clever intentional move by our local star.

Regarding the cover art, Arlene says "When I was looking for an image for the front, I initially was going to put the image of me found on the inside panel (you'll have to grab a copy now to see it!). I decided that I wanted something more meaningful to me, so I used a photo that I took of Inverness, Scotland. I had an incredible time when I visited the country in 2015 and I keep raving about how I want to move there.  The fact my album title "Home With You" was an afterthought to the image."

Below, you'll find a track-by-track review of the seven-song album, writing & production credits and the video for her lead single, "Over You."

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OVER YOU
This upbeat number was a smart choice for a lead single as it's catchy with great hooks and oh-so-easy to sing along to. The call and responses are a smart songwriting technique that's well executed by Paculan and is a perfect summer tune...well, year round but it's got that light, airy summertime feel to it.

BEST KEPT SECRET
I've always enjoyed the tonality and elegance of her voice and it cuts through beautifully with this tune. The raw confessional side of this song is what makes it so powerful with minimal instrumentation supporting Paculan's voice, allowing it to soar.
"Fingers through my hair, like ghost's that have let me know that you're still there" - now that's an incredibly written lyric.

LEAVE ME ALONE
It's easy to fall in to the typical "sad, breakup ballad" column but through creative songwriting and a solid groove supporting her words, this song's emotional lyrics are sharp, precise and very relateable to the majority of listeners . In another smart piece of songwriting, the song uses primarily major chords for the chorus over minor-esque lyrics, creating a beautiful balance.

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HE GOT ME
Ah, that crush that knows how to be at the forefront of your mind. Paculan's "oohs and ahhs" during the catchy chorus, surrounded by her emotional lyrics make this one of the albums strongest tracks. The marching band inspired snare drum mimics a heartbeat and really sets the tone for this track.

MY FAVOURITE
The singalongability (I know it's not a real word but whatever) of this song is contagious with it's upbeat lyrics, well-written melody lines and toe-tapping rhythm.
This is one of those songs that you turn the volume up on and roll your windows down to on a summer road trip. And the harmonies...so, so good!

HOME WITH YOU
The title track starts of mellow and crescendos into my favourite musical chorus of the album. Three simple chords layered with perfectly pitched and placed vocal lines. She shows off the strength of her vocals at the 4:00 minute mark, leading into a searing guitar solo that amps up the song to 11 while maintaining the catchy-ness of the song opposed to overpowering it.

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SOY VALIOSA
This bonus track is a version of her song "I'm Worth It" sung in Spanish and here's what Arlene says about it:
"I'm Worth It" is a very special song that I wrote which has helped me to remember to trust and believe that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I also hope the song does that for others. Because the lyrics have a special meaning to me,I decided that I'd have the song in different versions in my albums. This is the 3rd version of this song and I chose to have it in Spanish because the language is beautiful and it would be the first of many languages that the song is translated to."
 

To get a copy of the album and to sign up for her newsletter and keep connected with Arlene, head over to officialarlene.com

Home with You (2018) - Arlene

Production/Writing credits:

01, 02: Mixed by Nick Name
03, 04, 05, 06, 07: Mixed by Mike Schlosser at Little Noise Records
All songs mastered by Brad Smith at Mr. Smith Productions

01 Over You
Music & lyrics: Arlene Paculan, Mike Schlosser
Produced by Nick Name

02 Best Kept Secret
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan, Mike Schlosser, Nick Name
Produced by Nick Name

03 Leave Me Alone
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan, Mike Schlosser
Produced by Mike Schlosser at Little Noise Records

04 He Got Me
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan, Mike Schlosser
Produced by Mike Schlosser at Little Noise Records

05 My Favourite
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan
Piano/Synth: Arlene Paculan
Drums: THE iDENTiTY CRiSiS
Bass: Doug Norman
Produced by Arlene Paculan

06 Home with You
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan
Piano: Arlene Paculan
Guitar: Kevin Dvorak
Bass: Doug Norman
Drums: Jan Bilek
Produced by Kevin Dvorak

07 Soy Valiosa (I’m Worth It Spanish Version) (Bonus track)
Music & Lyrics: Arlene Paculan, Carla Casanova
Guitar: Arlene Paculan
Produced by Arlene Paculan