- Bryon Harris
PK and the In-Betweens - 'Almost'
Review by Sylvie Marie & Staff
PK and the In-Betweens is the latest project from singer/songwriter Paul Kleinert who spent his formative music years writing and performing with band Waiting for Rain along with his high school friend Jeffrey Larish. The group dismantled (after their reunion show) and Kleinert turned his attention to his career as a teacher. Being a teacher gave Kleinert new insights about life and work which he writes about in his new music with PK and the In-Betweens. Back in the studio with years of real life experiences to share, his latest single, "Almost", was a collaboration with Philadelphia Engineer/Producer, Brian Bricklin (Bricklin, A&M Records; Martin's Dam, Sire/Hybrid Records). The single is off the album, A Lifetime of Almost.
With intentional electric guitar strums and riffs, rolling drums and crashing cymbals, "Almost" commences with upbeat gusto and confidence. After the intro, the song settles into a nice rock groove that you can bob your head to. Carried by highly memorable melodic lines, clever lyrics, and an expressive vocal performance, "Almost" is catchy and relatable.
From the first verse to the last, Kleinert digs into the song's lyrics pulling out the emotion of each word he sings. The story of this song has clearly been experienced by the writer, and it is this personal connection that gives the song it's authenticity. "I got a lifetime of almost. I got a mountain of could of been. I had a shitload of so close." The lyrics go on to talk about being in the ring of life, going through the rounds, being knocked down, and getting "a little more almost."
The contagious chorus is easy to sing along with as he repeats, "I am almost there." The vibe of this song is not of a downtrodden soul, but that of a resilient one; the glass is half full. Somehow, the entire musical experience puts a smile on your face as most of us can relate to being knocked down and getting up again, and the feeling that you haven't arrived yet, but you are getting there.
Nice moments in the song's composition include female background vocals done with an old-school flavor and also as a reinforcement, in octaves, on the chorus. Instrumental textures like muted guitar add to the musical tension. Electric guitar work with tasteful rock n' roll riffs seamlessly transition the verses. The band is tight, driving the song home with energy.
PK and the In-Betweens present a timeless classic with their song "Almost." With lyrics that everyone can relate to, especially musicians, "Almost" is the kind of song that could have been written in any time period and be a hit with listeners, and it will certainly continue to resonate in years to come. With a catchy chorus and very melodic content, Kleinert shows he is a seasoned song-writer who knows his craft well. Hitting on real emotions about falling short and moving forward, while maintaining good vibes, PK and the In-Betweens are more than "almost" there - they nailed it.
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