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Femalefront.com Review - Stephanie Pakrul

Femalefront.com Review - Stephanie Pakrul

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Published by Gregg D'Albert
A review of the album "Not a Victim" by Stephanie Pakrul, originally published on femalefront.com in 2004, and retrieved from archive.org.
A review of the album "Not a Victim" by Stephanie Pakrul, originally published on femalefront.com in 2004, and retrieved from archive.org.

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Categories:Types, Reviews, Music
Published by: Gregg D'Albert on Jan 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/12/2014

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Picks of the Past: Stephanie Pakrul
HomeAbout FFPick of theMomentPicks of the PastSpecial ArtistsPlugsPersonal SpaceBlog
Stephanie Pakrul
Geek Revival
Stephanie Pakrul
The problem with being a music fan who doesn‘t possess any musical talent, is that continuousexposure to genuinely accomplished people can be damaging to one’s already pathologically low self-esteem. Not that
I’m
like that, of course. No siree...that was just a “hypothetical”. However, if I
were
like that, then Stephanie Pakrul would be the type of person who could potentially make me questionwhat I’m doing with my lame existence.That’s because Stephanie Pakrul is something of a Renaissance woman. Music is just one facet of her life -- a life that she has made available to the world, with a sense of unabashed openness, via her impressive personalwebsite. Therefore, no review of Ms Pakrul’s music would be complete without atleast mentioning this portal to the rest of her life. “Steph the Geek” indeed!On to the music:
Not A Victim
is the self-released debut from this multi-talented Toronto resident. Thestories told are mostly autobiographical, and they focus primarily on the interpersonal and sexualdynamics of relationships. And while just about every artist out there has songs about sex, far too fewof them have the kind of refreshingly progressive attitude about it that Ms Pakrul does.Although the album does not fall neatly into the Goth genre,
Not A V 
ictim certainly has its darker moments. Most of the songs use piano as a foundation, and Ms Pakrul seems to prefer the blackkeys. Guitar, bass and drums are then layered in sparingly (or not) for the proper effect. Vocally, shesounds disarmingly sweet. Some of her intonations are reminiscent of Kate Bush, particularly fromthe latter’s younger years -- when she was Stephanie Pakrul’s age, in fact.The song structure is often unconventional. This is not a crime. In fact, it reminds me of the bandThat Dog -- not the music, but the fact that Anna Waronker and Petra Haden once admitted to being abit embarrassed that none of the songs on their first two albums contained a chorus. Hey, that wasone of the reasons I
liked 
That Dog! Anyway, while Ms Pakrul does grace most of her songs with awell-conceived chorus, she still eschews the traditional verse-chorus-verse-hook-bridge-chorusstructure. Of course, if traditional song structure were an absolute prerequisite for your listeningpleasure, then you probably wouldn't be listening to this station in the first place.In terms of production, “Return to Myself” is the gem of the album. It’s the sort of big, grand ballad thatone might hear on the soundtrack to a major Hollywood drama. This is quite an accomplishment,considering the extremely limited studio time that Ms Pakrul admitted to having for this album. Alsooutstanding is “T.P.E.”, with its extended, “Tubular Bells”-esque intro. A sexual psychodrama – or apsycho sex-drama – the song deals with the breakdown of a dom/sub relationship, in which thedominant experiences more discomfort than she would normally inflict. Although it is difficult to see
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