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Absolute Powerpop
CD of the Day {02-11-06}

Phil Ayoub's Schoolbus Window Paper heart was one of my more recent pleasant surprises, having picked it up over the holidays. The record was produced by one of David Gray's sidemen, but frankly it's better than any David Gray record I've heard. This is great singer-songwriter stuff, in many places worthy of my holy trinity of Josh Rouse, David Mead and Freedy Johnson. The standout track, "River to Ocean", though, is jangly power pop bliss reminiscent of Michael Carpenter. There is hardly a weak track in the batch on this one.

CDBaby Review (click for review) (click for review)

Tower Records purchaser
I never, EVER write stuff like this. A friend passed this cd my way, and I have to say, it really blew me away. It has a really sweet, mellow vibe to it, but also rocks out in parts. The lyrics are cool, and the tunes make you either want to chill and be pensive, or sing along and be alive. I highly recommend it. This guy is definitely going places.

Valley Breeze publication
Ayoub shows off smart lyrics, radio-friendly sound on debut CD...reminiscent of Dylan.

Dissolver Magazine
"Most of these songs could be thrown immediately into rotation on 92.9FM WBOS [Boston, MA]...above-average songwriting...You'll hear it—or something like it—on the radio soon enough..."   


Phil Ayoub, whose smart lyrics and accessible tunes have radio-friendly stamped on their backsides and whose virtuosity ought to guarantee consideration at next year’s Boston Music Awards.

The Noise (Rock Zine)
Phil Ayoub bills himself as a singer-songwriter but this CD is actually more of a collaborative effort.  Although aesthetically Schoolbus Window Paper Heart has a singer-songwriter sound, many of the songs have a co-writer and there’s a full band with guitars, bass, and drums (and occasionally other instruments) backing him. But Ayoub handles the singer-songwriter style well; the songs are interestingly arranged and the lyrics are reflective.  I particularly like the opening track, “White Feather,” with its Dylanesque harmonica and electric guitar. The song “Goodnight Kiss” evokes Harvest Moon-era Neil Young.  Ayoub explores a range of subjects including relationship self-deception in “Lying and Stealing,” breaking up the relationship in “Carnival Days,” and the journey in “Scenes from an American Rest Stop,” which particularly resonated with me because of my constant driving between Boston and New York. (I swear his photo of the rest stop in question is the TA truck stop just off I-84 in Connecticut). And of course I have to take note of the production (which is a funny thing because if the production is good, you don’t notice it. It’s only when it’s bad that you do). And this production, both the arrangements and the mix, are top-notch. (Robin Umbley)

Show #103



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