It took about 6 to 8 months longer than I would have anticipated, but the long-running trilogy of EPs intended for release by New York-based artist Paul Maged has finally come to its conclusion with this six-song compilation “Fight To The Death.” (To bring you up to speed, I reviewed the first leg “Light Years Away” in November 2017 and second part “The Glass River” in May 2018.) As Maged explains in the release notes, “FTTD was delayed when Maged decided to release his political protest song, The Resistance, in October 2018.”
The Resistance is the penultimate song and last full-length on this final portion of Maged’s work. It’s one of two angry songs on the EP, the other being the title track which leads it off. In turn, the final song snippet, Illusions Go By, is a bit of an extension on a earlier version of the prelude to Life Goes By, a short track found on The Glass River.
The now-full length and restyled version of Life Goes By included here on Fight To The Death is more snappy, hip-hop, and upbeat. So perhaps Illusions Go By will be a leadoff for the next album whenever Paul brings it out.
But when you compare the three parts of the trilogy, Light Years Away seemed to be fun with some introspection, a theme that yielded to a more political tone on The Glass River given the subject matter of its songs. This one, on the other hand, is rather angry and Paul doesn’t care who knows it. To say he’s not a fan of the Trump administration would really be sugar-coating it.
However, I’m here for the music, and to be honest the two angry songs are pretty good. In particular, The Resistance has its share of Trump-like blather, but in reverse where the message is, “you will not kill the resistance.” It’s not your Baby Boomer father’s protest song, though: it’s heavy and amplified, so I enjoyed it (and got a good chuckle, too.) Fight To The Death is more power-pop on steroids, but it serves as a good introduction.
Actually, I can’t complain about the other two, either: Nightstalker brings together a number of disparate elements, while the ballad Off In The Distance not only evokes memories, but tosses in a little reference to a well-received previous album of his.
I don’t think this is the strongest of the three legs of the trilogy, but it’s definitely supportive enough and was worth the wait. As always when I can, I invite you to listen for yourself.
As I’ve said before, besides good songwriting talent Paul has his share of marketing genius. Now that this trilogy is finally put to bed, it will be interesting to see what comes next.