Polaroid

by Salim Nourallah

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ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Review by Tim Sendra

With his brother Faris, Salim Nourallah was half of the imaginatively named Nourallah Brothers. They released one album together, 2001's self-titled affair, before heading their separate ways. That album was a charming, low-key one with hints of the Pernice Brothers and influenced by bands like the Kinks and the Who. On Polaroid, Salim focuses mainly on the earthier aspect of the brothers' sound, apart from a couple of experimental songs like the clever cocktail jazz-based "We Did All the Right Things" and the Casio and cheap drum machine "Model Brothers." Mostly he is content to go the guitars-and-drums route -- not that that is a bad thing, not when it is done with skill and grace. Salim has a light touch both lyrically and musically that helps him avoid the trap of sameness and banality that too many introspective singer/songwriters can't escape. It helps that most of the songs seem to be about his relationship with his brother, which is a topic that isn't often sung about. The best songs on the album are the ones with the most energy. When Nourallah's pleasantly raspy voice is matched with hyper-melodic choruses like on "1978" (which sounds and feels a lot like Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby") and the rollicking "One Foot Stuck in the Past," the album takes flight. The rest of the time the album is still very strong and always listenable with only a couple of tracks that are a little weak like the draggy untitled song that ends the album and also like the opening song, "Everybody Wants to Be Loved." Polaroid is a small-scale album that deals with large-scale emotions and along the way comes up with a batch of very pleasing pop songs. By any measure of the word, that is success. Think Wilco with no pretension or a Wallflowers with sonic imagination and then think about hunting this record down.

credits

released May 4, 2004

Carter Albrecht Contribution
Paul Averitt Contribution
John Dufilho Contribution
Aaron Kelley Contribution, Engineer, Mixing
Faris Nourallah Contribution, Engineer, Mixing
Salim Nourallah Composer, Engineer, Mixing, Primary Artist
Tommy Roberts Contribution
Rip Rowan Contribution, Engineer, Mixing

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Salim Nourallah Dallas, Texas

Salim is a North Texas music scene fixture. After gaining initial acclaim with Nourallah Brothers he’s gone on to release a half dozen solo albums and produce a fine list of many others (including Old 97s & the Damnwells). His solo debut Polaroid was met with reviews like this one:“discovering a singer-songwriter who can stop time is rare, but Salim Nourallah is such a find…” (Rolling Stone). ... more

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