Review by Bob Watkins at Uberrick.
In Jace’s own words; ““Like most writers, I just want to be heard.”
At the age of 14 Jace discovered songwriter supreme Diane Warren and that was the first time he realized that a person could write songs for other artists and make a living. From that point all Jace wanted to do was write songs for great singers, musicians and producers, to make a living in music and of course record his music under his own name.‘Perspective’ is the realization of the latter.
From the off ‘Cry’ grabs hold of your musical psyche with its catchy and hooky melodies and harmonies complete with a great big studio production that brings this recording to the uppermost musical hilt. With such an extremely infectious tune in ‘Cry’ kicking things off it might be hard to follow such a strong song, but the catchy sentiment carries forth throughout the opus, with some perfectly structured commercial compositions such as the piano balladry of ‘What If We Were Wrong’. I’ve heard tracks and albums similar in their ways to this particular record that maybe sound too dated with too much inspiration and influence taking over the collection in question, with ‘Perspective’ though I hear influence and inspiration getting a modern vibe and feel that so many albums lack from certain genres these days. And whilst I’m on the subject of genres, this collection is certainly mixing it up with some funky grooves on ‘Don`t Talk To Me’ whichj is followed directly with another beautifully crafted piano ballad ‘The Unknown’.
And that piano gets into play in large doses on this album with no better example than ‘We Don`t Know Anything’ with its classic singer/songwriter retro feel and sound, it’s all rather beautiful to say the least and album closer `Little Star` with its dream-like quality and musical sensibility is the perfect way to round the collection off.
Songwriting at its finest.
Review by Mark Donnelly for Fireworks Magazine issue #69.
Singer-songwriter Jace Pawlak may not be a name that is instantly familiar to most, however, fans of bands like Tango Down (‘Too Many Roads’, ‘Back To Life’, ‘Corners Of My Mind’, ‘Alone’), Goodbye Thrill (‘Let Me Sleep’) and Far Cry (‘Fine Line’, ‘Have It All’) will have heard several of his songs. I have had the privilege of chatting to Jace over the years, via Facebook, and we share very similar tastes in music, however, the latter is where the similarities end as Jason Pawlak is a very talented musician who has the ability of writing very catchy tunes; I, on the other hand, can merely write about the latter. This is certainly a family affair with Jace’s father, Dennis, and younger brother, Trevor, handling the electric guitars leaving Jace just the vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar, bass, drums, production and mixing duties. Jace decided to go down the Kickstarter Campaign route to finance this album and must have been delighted by the positive response he got from his ever-growing fan-base. The one thing that prevails throughout ‘Perspective’ is the melody, whether it be straight ahead melodic rock, acoustic based songs or piano ballads. The album kicks off with the ultra-catchy melodic rock of ‘Cry’; many an AOR band would die for a killer opening song like this on their album. The style changes with ‘While We’re Here’ that has an Americana vibe. The first of four ballads is ‘What If We Were Wrong’ that another of Jace’s heroes, Richard Marx, would have been proud to write and record. ‘Don’t Talk To Me’, co-written with Chris “Luppy” Swan is an ode to one of our mutual favourite bands, Toto. ‘The Unknown’ is a real tear-jerking, piano ballad reminiscent of Bonnie Raitt’s classic ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and surely destined to be a future classic and a song that is difficult to listen to without getting a lump in your throat. ‘Jodi’s Just Running’ and the third ballad ‘We Don’t Know Anything’ are songs you could imagine another of Jace’s idols, Billy Joel, writing and recording. My personal favourite song is the AOR gem ‘Renegade Heart’, co-written with John Kivel, and brings to mind Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Meissner. Those whom are familiar with Far Cry’s ‘High Gear’ album will recognise the brilliant ‘The Same Mistake’ that appears on this album as a stripped down acoustic version. The album concludes with the beautiful ballad ‘Little Star’. Jace Pawlak wanted to highlight his song writing talents and that he certainly has achieved, in spades, on ‘Perspective’. If Ed Sheeran can headline three nights at Wembley Stadium then Jace Pawlak should prepare himself for a year-long residency at the Hollywood Bowl.
Review by Tony Cruz Sison The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine.
Singer/songwriter, Jace Pawlak returns with his third outing , 'Perspective', a album laced with a great mix of melodic hard rock and acoustic gems. If Jace Pawlak' s name may sound familiar, he's penned songs for FarCry and Tango Down'. 'Perceptive' definitely has more of a melodic rock flavor , a few songs stand out more than the others. The album alternates between upbeat rock tunes and heart wrenching ballads, but these songs all have great lyrics, very catchy choruses, super musicianship. "Cry", kicks the album off in great melodic fashion. If your cup of tea is melodic rock, this song will satisfy your thirst. The same thing can be said for tracks like, "What if We Were Wrong", and "Jodi' s Just Running". Then there is the jazz influenced number, "Don't Talk To Me". Yes, Pawlak's songs are good and some great, but what I find impressive is his voice. The album is just solid from start to finish with NO FILLER. 'Perspective' showcases Jace Pawlak' s truly amazing talent as a singer/songwriter. Coupled with great production and great musicians I can honestly say there is not a second rate song on this release. .Whilst nothing earth shattering nor likely to win any awards,the album rocks along at a great pace and a testament to the fact that melodic rock music is still alive and well, even from a younger generation! - Highly Recommended
Review by Marcus The Rocker from Metal-Temple.com
When we all start out in the music business, there is only one thing we have on our minds and that is to make our songs, and indeed us as individuals become heard by the world and the best way to make that possible is through writing great music. If you’re successful then your songs will not only become heard by the world but you yourself as an individual may get the chance to do things you would not have otherwise expected to happen.
All of the above can relate to the subject of todays review, which is American songwriter/musician Jace Pawlak, who this year released his third solo CD “Perspective”.Pawlak’s love for music began in the 70’s after seeing his dad play guitar for a local band in St. Louis and from there, his future began to shape itself having learned drums by the age of 5, keyboards by the age of 13 and then acoustic guitar sometime later.
Once he was proficient in playing instruments and writing his first songs, 2000 was the start of his musical career, as he became a full time musician at Walt Disney World in his hometown of Orlando and then five years later in 2005, he released his debut album “Stolen Season”. Since then, his music caught the attention of John Kivel who is the owner of the record label that bears his namesake Kivel Records.
After that event, Jace began writing songs for bands such as FARCRY and TANGO DOWN as well as releasing more solo material which included his second solo album “Chasing Magic” in 2011 which garnered attention from people such as Andrew McNiece of MelodicRock.com and Paul Nichols of the internet radio station ARFM.
Now in 2015, the time has come for his third solo album “Perspective” to be heard by the world and the question is, does all of Jace’s experience, songwriting skills and positive reviews of his work translate into an album that you will always fall in love with everytime you hear it? The answer to that question is a big fat mighty YES.
From the moment you hear the albums opening track “Cry” which is a Melodic Rock masterpiece, you begin to understand why Jace Pawlak has become so well known for his skills as a songwriter as the powerful hooks, melodies and performances immediately make you fall in love with this album.
From there on, things only get better as there is a good diverse mixture of instruments and musical styles which include the jazzy “Don’t Talk To Me”, the bluesy “We Don’t Know Anything”, the catchy upbeat “While We’re Here” and “Renegade Heart”, the beautiful melodic ballad “What If We Were Wrong” and the albums two beautiful piano ballads “The Unknown”and “Little Star”.
What I love about this album is not only the diversity of the musical styles, the variety of instruments used and the superb production, but also the strength of the songwriting and when you listen to this, you really do get a sense of the passionate love that Jace has for music and because of that, you begin to fall in love with his songs as you listen to them as songs like these are perfect for listening to in any situation be it a sad or happy moment.
Bottom line, the new solo album from Jace Pawlak is a fantastic album that manages to combine a wide variety of positive aspects including different diverse musical styles, passionate songwriting and incredible musical talent thanks to the obvious unity that Jace shares with his dad and brother who also play on this album. It really does make you wonder why he only has a small number of likes on his official Facebook page which if you ask me deserves to be higher so get yourselves over there, smack that like button and help to spread the word of Jace Pawlak and his incredible new album. It really is that good.
Review from Heavy Paradise .
Jace Pawlak is not new in the rock scene. Raised by a father who was a guitar player in a local band in St. Louis, Jace loved rock music and bands such as Led Zeppelin, Billy Joel, Foreignerand Sammy Hagar. At the age of 13 piano entered in his life. A couple of years later started to write his own songs and that's how Jace Pawlak career started.
2005 saw the release of Pawlak’s first album ‘Stolen Season.’ He states, “It was mostly meant to be a vehicle for the writing- a way to get the songs out there for people to hear and hopefully want to cover". In 2011 Jace joined forces together with his dad, Dennis and his brother Trevor and released a new album. ‘Chasing Magic’ is a collection of tunes inspired by the music Jace grew up loving. Heavily influenced by Night Ranger, Journey, and Def Leppard.
Nowadays, the artist is releasing the brand new "Perspective" album. This is a more stripped down, rock effort that sees Jace mixing a lot of his influences as a writer. Jace states : "I have so many influences as a writer, including James Taylor, Richard Marx and Emily Saliers, just to name a few.”
"Cry", which opens this new album is just brilliant; melodic, up-tempo with a beautiful melody and a chorus to die for! The acoustic rocker tune of "While We're Here" is nice while in "Don't Talk To Me" we are dealing with a very good groovier 80's pop-rock song. "The Unknown" is a wonderful, piano-driven sentimental ballad and it's among my favorites from "Perspective". "Renegade Heart" is just another killer AOR track! Edgier with a catchy chorus line and great arrangements this tune grabs you at once and leaves you whistle it for days!
Jace Pawlak with "Perspective" creates true music!! Yes, every single track here has something special to offer, it aims straight to your heart and reflects the abilities of this Musician (with a capital M!!!). Jace Pawlak says : “Like most writers, I just want to be heard.” And I add.....with albums like that, the sure thing is that you will!!!
Rating : 9/10
Review by Craig Hartranft at Dangerdog.com.
Somewhat of a musical prodigy, Jace Pawlak has had some instrument in hand since the age of five. When took up the piano a teen, he began songwriting which became his personal passion and career path. He's had his songs recorded by melodic rock bands such as Tango Down, Far Cry, and Goodbye Thrill. Additionally, in the last ten years his found to record three albums: one with Kindred Saint, with his father and brother, and two solo albums. He arrives with his third solo album,Perspective, financed through a Kickstarter campaign.
There's little doubt: Pawlak is a gifted musician. The years have only seasoned his songwriting skills. Mostly developed and arranged from his piano skills, Pawlak has a keen sense of melody and rhythm, which puts him in the same school of rock as his influence Billy Joel. You'll catch this on the lighter The Unknown and the bit bluesy We Don't Know Anything, though both songs seem to reflect an agnostic and deterministic philosophical slant. Weird.
After these things, Pawlak essentially works the angles of AOR melodic rock, crafting song with rich vocal harmonies, toe-tapping groove, catchy refrains, and nice guitar leads (supplied by his father). This comes more significantly with Renegade, Cry, and the ballad-like anthem What If We Were Wrong. Pawlak also has a good voice, singing with strong melody. Additionally, his lyrics are generally cogent, notably when he appears to be bashing on an ex within Don't Talk to Me. It's all another song moved by the piano but also the groove of the rhythm section. Of final note is that, excepting lead guitar from pop and additionally guitar from his brother, Pawlak plays every other instrument, and he also produced and mixed the album. Did I say he was something a wunderkind?
Overall then, Perspective is solid and entertaining accomplishment for Pawlak, something that bears witness to his passion for songwriting. However, I wondering where the he and this album will find an audience. His sound certainly isn't all that current, especially here in America. Maybe better in the UK and Europe. Perhaps these songs could be picked up by other artists and given a different treatment, maybe in the realm of current country music. But I'm just spitballing here. If you like classic AOR melodic rock, you should check this out.
4 out of 5
Review by Peter Cox at yourmusicblog.
Now here is a guy whose songs are more known than he is. After all, with artists like Tango Down, Goodbye Thrill and Far Cry on the list (besides releasing music under the names of Kindred Saint and Chasing Magic), this is not a rookie at all. With a first release in 2005, it is about time we get more music too!
Jace, or Jason, Pawlak (vocals, keyboards, bass, drums) comes from a musical pedigree (Kindred Saint and Chasing Magic are bands with brother and father, and they join him here too) and writes music in a broad spectrum of rock. A dash of classic rock, some melodic rock or AOR, a bit of singer – songwriter, etcetera. This album was funded through a successful kickstarter campaign and is his best and most diverse effort yet. Opening with one of the more melodic rock tunes Cry, which has a great chorus and guitar riff. While We’re Here is a touch or two lighter in tone, with acoustic guitar playing a big role. What If We Were Wrong is a lovely ballad, with more emphasis on his piano playing. My personal favourite is Don’t Talk To Me, a song Toto would be proud of. Horns and all!
This album has a bit for everyone on it, and it only affirms that Jace is a prolific writer and performer that deserves a bigger audience. So head on over to his website and start checking this out!
Review from Strutterzine.
Out of Florida, USA comes Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jace Pawlak, who just released his third solo album Perspective. Jace is heavily influenced by 80s AOR/Melodic Rock, which could already be heard on his previous solo-albums (see past review of Jace’s debut Stolen season in 2005) and also due to the fact he wrote a lot of songs for other acts, especially for Kivel Records’ signed bands like Tango Down and Farrcry. Anyway, on his new album Perspective, he spreads his horizons and adds a lot of other influences as well, now sounding like a mixture of AOR, pop/rock, westcoast and jazz flavored fusion, sorta like Toto, but not reaching that high level I am afraid. This has nothing to do with the man’s voice, handling of the instruments, writing good songs or anything like that, because the problem is that he seems to use autotune to make voice corrections and that just sounds quite annoying after a while. A real pity, because the man can definitely sing very well, such as can be heard in the great bluesy rocker We Don't Know Anything, one of the few songs that sounds like there is no voice correction done. The album features besides Jace Pawlak on vocals, keyboards, drums, acoustic guitar and bass, his father Dennis Pawlak on guitars & bass and his brother Trevor Pawlak on guitar. As already mentioned, real pure AOR can only be heard during a couple tunes, such as the strong midtempo high class AOR tune Cry, which sounds a bit like Journey/The Storm and the uptempo AOR rocker Renegade Heart (a la Kane Roberts and Final Frontier). It is quite a difference with that debut record from 10 years ago, when he delivered a high class AOR record without autotune or voice correction. Nevertheless, the new album is still a nice record, also musically speaking, because the 3 earlier mentioned tracks are quite strong and it is nice to see him delivering nice jazzy rockers (Don't Talk to Me, The Same Mistake and Jodi's Just Running) and smooth ballads (What If We Were Wrong, The Unknown and Little Star) as well, besides a radio-ready melodic semi-acoustic pop/rock tune (While We're Here). Nevertheless, he isn’t a Billy Joel, Bryan Adams or Richard Marx yet and I truly hope that a future record will see him without the use of technical and autotune kinda corrections to his voice, because I am convinced this musician is live on stage doing things much better than in the production environment. He has a great voice, but the production spoils it a bit, which really isn’t necessary at all. We want to hear errors and a change in the voice while singing the melodies, because that’s what is making a singer/songwriter interesting and not a perfect sounding production/album. Still I am positive, because Jace is a well-gifted musician and talented singer, who you need to check out at: www.jacemusic.com and https://www.facebook.com/jacepawlakmusic
(Points: 7.7 out of 10)
Review from Indiebandguru.
There is a whole side of the music business that is too often overlooked. Not every musician has the dream to be a rock star playing in front of thousands of people and having millions of fans that follow your every move. Some just want to be the brains behind the songs that get all this attention. This can be a very lucrative profession while allowing you to still walk the streets without being swarmed. Jace Pawlak is making these dreams come true for himself.
The St. Louis native was drawn to music from an early age as his father was a hard working rock guitarist that shared his passion with his son. Jace Pawlak was playing drums at 5 and mastering piano by the time he reached his teen years. But instead of striving to be the face in front of all the crowds Jace discovered the talents of Diane Warren and the joy of simply writing songs to get in the hands of great singers and musicians that could enhance what he was doing. His way with melodies has caught on and songs written by Jace Pawlak can be heard in a wide variety of your music collection.
One way to get the music out there is to record his own albums, usually with the aid of his father and brother adding their instrumental talents. The latest album is Perspectives, a 10 track record full of catchy and engaging songs. The opener “Cry” is in the pop rock vein with a melodic feel that draws in a smile on the listener’s face. The chorus is meant for an arena rock sing-a-long. On “While We’re Here” the pace is slowed down a little and has little touches of the country genre. These songs can go anywhere with the right treatment. Jace shows off some range with the jazz infused “Don’t Talk To Me”. It is a poppy but funky song that brought thoughts of a Maroon 5 song mixed with some classic 70’s artists. There is more than just random rhyming words in his music. For example take a listen to “We Don;t Know Anything”. The lyrics are researched ideas that were thought to be true at one time but science and technology have proved to be wrong. There is a deeper meaning here. The record closes with the piano led “Little Star”. It is a pretty ballad style song that embodies the emotion of a great songwriter.
Review by Justin Gaines at Hard Rock Haven.
Perspective is the latest offering from Florida-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jace Pawlak, whose previous releases came under the Jace and Chasing Magic banners. Pawlak has also been involved in the songwriting process for melodic rock bands like Farcry and Tango Down. Pawlak’s own material is less hard-rocking, but is still quite enjoyable.
Pawlak wears his influences on his sleeve, especially on this album.Perspective is a disc that you could spin alongside your old Bryan Adams or Richard Marx albums. You’ll also catch hints of Journey and Toto, and the vocal harmonies give it a Shaw/Blades vibe, which is not a bad thing at all. Pawlak knows how to craft catchy melodies and emotional lyrics, and his voice is ideal for delivering them. These songs have heart, which is not easy to pull off in a genre that too often falls into clichés.
Perspective gets off to an upbeat start with the Night Ranger-worthy rocker “Cry,” (the vocal harmonies on that one are fantastic) but soon veers into an almost country territory with “Why We’re Here” and “Jodi’s Just Running.” The horn section on “Don’t Talk To Me” is a fun nod to classic Toto. The pace picks up big time with “Renegade Heart,” an old school melodic rocker that’s Perspective’s most rocking moment, before closing things on a more relaxed note.
It may be on the softer side of the spectrum, but there’s a lot on Perspective for melodic rock fans to enjoy. Jace Pawlak writes and plays this kind of music very well, and is well worth discovering, whether you’re a fan of the classic Richard Marx, Bryan Adams, Brett Walker and Night Ranger sound or more recent bands like AOR, Street Talk and Houston. This is the album you want playing at the end of a tough day, when you finally get to kick back with a cold drink and your sweetheart by your side.
Review by Jordan Stone.
So I just sorta happened upon Jace a few months back. He was running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to finish up his newest recording, and somehow I found it. While I had just missed out on contributing to the campaign, I did get to listen to the preview tracks, and all three blew me away.
Jace, a man who is mostly known in the melodic rock underground as a songwriter for other artists, has created a real masterpiece with this new release. If you love material that ranges from artists like Eddie Money to classic Journey, then Jace is for you. From catchy melodic rock to soaring piano ballads, Jace has assembled a beautiful collection of unforgettable melodies and catchy choruses that stick with you. What's really nice about what Jace has done here is that many of these songs would fit into many different places. They could fit on a hard rock album, an AOR album, or even a country album all with relatively minor tweaks to the arrangements. I can really hear listening to this why Jace has a history of being a songwriter for other artists. Great versatility.
"Cry" - Track one on the cd is the strongest track on the disc. Brilliantly written. One of the best melodic rock songs I've heard in years.
"What if We Were Wrong" - Track three is just a great song. Brings to mind some of the best parts of what Toto did in the 80's. Great hook, great ballad, great song.
"Little Star" - Track ten on the cd is an incredible ballad, and a beautiful way to close out the listening experience. The soaring melodies, accompanied by piano, will be VERY appealing to fans of Journey's "Faithfully" and the like. I even hear a slight touch of Simon & Garfunkel here, but I'm guessing others won't hear that :). This is my second favorite track on the cd.
"Jodi's Just Running"
"The Same Mistake"
"Don't Talk to Me" & "We Don't Know Anything" - These songs are well done, they are just far enough outside the genres of rock and pop that they don't work for me. My wife liked them though, so I'm sure many others would too!
Four out of Five Stars - Jace has crafted a beautiful record here that should be one of the best melodic rock albums of the year. He has really taken the time to do this well, and in turn has created a package that he should be very, very proud of. I highly recommend this cd to any melodic rock fan!
Review from Heavy Metal Resource.
Every now and then an album comes across my desk that isn't the norm for what we discuss, but is so cool you just want to mention it. Songwritier Jace Pawlak's latest album is exactly that. It's a melodic rock record that is never all that heavy but has a lot of heart. I love the honesty of independent artists. The music has to be first and foremost. Pawlak reminds me a lot of Richard Marx in the fact that he writes songs for others, but shines equally well on his own recordings. If you are looking for something a little out of the heavy norm that will keep you interested start to finish, this record is really worth a look!
Review by Natalie Perez at Nataliezworld.com.
Jace Pawlak says "Like most writers, I just want to be heard." That is precisely what can be heard upon his new release "Perspective" it's a more stripped down and in-depth deeper look into his musical career and passion for music itself. Speaking of music, this release is filled with a mixture of genres ranging from melodic rock to acoustic, ballads, jazz influenced material to everything else in-between. When it comes down to it this release with Jace as vocalist brings to mind that of another gentlemen by the name of Gavin DeGraw. If you're familiar with his work that is what you get with Jace Pawlak. Now while Jace Pawlak has more flare for a country rock back set-up and Gavin DeGraw has that more upbeat pop rock sensation, both of these gents bring on that specialty of music and tunes for all to enjoy. For example on such tracks like "What If We Were Wrong", "Don't Talk To Me", and "The Unknown", resembles to that of Gavin DeGraw's such hits like "Chariot", "I Don't Want to Be", and "Solider". If you are into those upbeat tones with impressive lyrical context then this is it. Jace Pawlak provides his own style and flare for the music and while he does take on some similarities here and there, he's able to stand upon what he creates and it's quality material nevertheless.