2017’s Light Years Away is the latest album by New York musician Paul Maged. The first entry of a planned trilogy of EPs, the Sean Gill-produced album reflects Maged’s eclectic tastes as he explores various musical styles, also highlighting his extensive comedy background; before pursuing a career in music, Maged wrote and performed both stand-up and sketch, having appeared in independent films and in background roles on Saturday Night Live.
Light Years Away opens up with the brisk pop-punk of “PC Police,” a satirical rebuke against societal hypersensitivity. It’s not especially insightful, but it’s lots of fun and has got a hell of a catchy chorus. Packed with synths and sequencers, “Moment of Strength” has a danceable disco beat, smoothly leading into the crunchy, spacey alt-rock of the title track.
“Ashley Jane” marks a stylistic departure from the first three tracks, stripping things down enough to let the album breathe while retaining the pop flavor of the other songs. “Half Moon” is one of the the album’s best, following the previous track’s lower-key trajectory with a downbeat acoustic folk vibe that slowly builds into a solid rocker.
Next up is a cover of Audioslave’s signature song, “Like a Stone,” a tribute to acclaimed vocalist Chris Cornell, who passed away in May. It’s a straightforward interpretation, but Maged’s vocals are passionate enough to carry the song ably and respectfully. The album ends with a twinkling “Moment of Strength” reprise, closing things out with a light touch, a far cry from the pop-punk that the album began with.
Overall, the seven-track EP is a fun, snappy showcase for Maged’s sense of humour and broad musical palette. Check out the video for “Light Years Away,” which features animated versions of characters the singer portrayed during his years as a comedic performer:
Listen to the full EP on Spotify, and feel free to visit Paul Maged’s official website and social media pages for more info: