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CD Reviews: Paradigm
Paradigm: Standing In Line
February 2004
By: Sara Zeno
album cover of Paradigm's Standing In Line

The youthful exuberance of Paradigm is infused with an optimism that serves the young band well. Their debut recording, Standing In Line, is a tight, polished affair that showcases their alt-rock sensibility.

The Stockton, California band formed in 1999 and has since garnered attention from many quarters, including Jewel’s Soul City Café Music Quest competition. Shannon Curtis, the female lead singer, has a versatile voice--- she manages to stretch from a husky lower range to a clear high range that never sounds as if she’s overreaching. Tony Edwards, Kyle Knowlton, Keith Ogden and Steve Stratton complete Paradigm. The music itself is performed flawlessly, though at times the band seems dependent on riffs that feel slightly repetitive.

Their best work demonstrates yearning and uses imagery to good advantage. Want To Be is about chasing down dreams, even if they’re 180 degrees different from those of others. But my world spins a different way / Where I’m free to explore and to risk and create.

If Only is almost a warning to seize what’s here, instead of becoming caught in a web of regret and dissatisfaction: I’d be happy she’d say, “If only” / Stuffs her bag, says it’s not fun anymore/The answers gotta be through the next door.

With their cover of Paul Simon’s Hazy Shade of Winter, Paradigm smashes through the song, their energy carrying it to an immediate emotional level. Jimmy Williams is a fun little number that demonstrates tongue in cheek wit as it pokes fun at a shallow male. Jimmy Williams speaks in fairy tales / Has trouble discerning fake and real / He only talks about himself--- typical male.

Paradigm has such a positive energy that as they grow and mature as a band, their momentum will likely carry them to successful heights.