Through pining comes purpose. Paul Cherewick, monikered Paul Cherry, makes a
departure from pining for an unrequited love on his debut LP Flavour toward the hunger
for creative fulfillment on Back on the Music. “Bouncing off the bottom: this pattern is the
problem...” is the melancholic opening line of the new album, a meandering meditation
on the life of an artist: chasing inspiration, finding community, and the struggle to
maintain both. Throughout the buoyant, alright-on-the-outside tracks that make up his
second album, Cherry staggers and stumbles back into love with his life and craft.
Music becomes personified inside Tootsie Roll, becoming an ugly, grinning trench
coated villain plucked right out of a vintage Max Fleischer cartoon, cooing to the listener,
“You know you want me. Take me, take me,” harmonizing over his own voice. Almost as
if through excess, inhibition and precise self-analysis, Paul Cherry may find quiet. In the
luxuriant arrangement of the title track, Back on the Music he sings, “You love to play,
but it don’t pay. Feels like you’re caught in check mate.” Not everything fits neatly within
the lines of these songs, as in the lonely, wobbling flute melody that carries us out of It
Happens All the Time. Cherry shows us that often the path back to one’s self—
disguised in this album as Music—is a wavering one.