“Midnight Prayer” opens up The Listener’s Job No Vacancies album, and acts as a beautiful introductory song to this mysterious, five song voyage. Ambient, moody, other-worldly, and masterfully put together, this first track washes over the ears with subtle yet tangible keyboard movements nestled beside vocalist Paul Van Geldrop’s soothing output. Like the easier side of New Order (not the full-fledged techno side), or the workings of Ultravox, O.M.D., and maybe some of Depeche Mode’s work, the keyboard is utilized as a vast canvass on this particular track to which Van Geldrop paints his aural picture, yet he doesn’t take away any stock from the lyrics or any other part of the music.
On “I Can See Paris”, the beauty and subtlety is first and foremost via the tinkling of the keys. Van Geldrop’s voice rides smoothly overtop the keyboard fluttering, and the strings that gorgeously accompany the keyboard add an even greater dimension of atmosphere and tone to this simple but truly beautifully constructed song.
“Nowhere Left To Run” has more of a staccato tempo yet remains in the album’s vein of using the keyboard as the nucleus to the music. Here, sharper tones and an obvious rhythm takes over, complete with a percussive backbone and a forward-progressing pace. Van Geldrop’s singing blends well with the jaunty, colorful measure of the song, making the entire track catchy and musically spry.
The fourth installment entitled “Eulogy” is a bit more lyrically intricate and poetic. That being said, the underlay of the synth and the up-and-down singing style gives this one a unique Canterbury-like character and a wee bit of mystery as it plays out.
The last track on the album, “ Flying In The Air”, is another airy and elusive ballad-like song that is soft and gentle to the ears. Whether or not the lyrics are meant to be philosophical, metaphorical, or purposefully perplexed is up to the listener, but in any case, they are well-written and are exquisitely blended to the soft piano tones.
Dutchman Paul Van Geldrop does a great job at using his keyboard to convey image, mood, and beauty in his music. His voice truly matches his playing, and it’s as frail, as light, and as effective as the keys that support it. Some music can convey and invoke mood and atmosphere as immediately as it hit’s the air, which is truly the case throughout these five tracks. It’s going to be interesting to see if the The Listener’s Job will be employing more “listeners” in the near future with a full-length album. Let’s hope so.
Reviewed by: Mike DeGagne
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)