PK and the In-Betweens – ‘One by One (Little Things)’
Review by Matt Wong & Staff
PK and the In-Betweens is the latest project from singer/songwriter Paul Kleinert. For ten years, Kleinert wrote and performed with Waiting for Rain, a group he formed in 1988 with his high school friend Jeffrey Larish. After the band faded out, Kleinert took a sidestep from music and poured his creative energy into teaching. Today, he is back in the studio with years of real life experiences to share.Teaming up with Philadelphia Engineer/Producer, Brian Bricklin (Bricklin, A&M Records; Martin's Dam, Sire/Hybrid Records), Kleinert has released two singles, "One by One" (Little Things) and "Almost."
“One by One (Little Things)” leads in with a drum fill, followed by bass and acoustic guitar. An interesting, melodic electric guitar riff is heard above the mix, returning throughout the song. A short but distinct bass fill marks the end of the first verse, and a piano joins in giving the mix more width.
Kleinert’s vocals enter on the first verse to a scaled back arrangement.
"Maybe I pushed ‘em away
Maybe they just drifted apart
But one by one
They left with the sun
Leaving me in the dark"
Kleinert's vocal performance paints an intimate yearning for redemption and resolution. As the song progresses and the story develops, his vocal dynamics build; he seamlessly transitions from a reflective vocal tone heard in the verses to an intense and passionate intensity in the chorus.
The chorus arrives telling the story of "years and tears" gone by while everyone else moves on, one by one. The song blooms through the re-entrance of the electric guitar along with a synth part playing a driving 16th note oscillating figure. Second-guessing is at the heart of the song's angst, "Maybe I took them for granted." The song is about the heartache of love and loss and the push and pull of holding on or letting go. "What's done is done. It's time to move on. It's easier said then done."
Kleinert's vocals peak during the third verse as he changes his vocal timbre to emphasize the emotional hardship of moving on. In addition, a harder hitting groove and more involved piano part is heard. This allows the song to transition seamlessly into another moving chorus.
A sweet female voice enters the mix with a consoling tone. "The little things mean everything in time." After reaching its climax, the song gradually scales back over the course of the ending vamp and fades out.
“One by One (Little Things)” by PK and the In-Betweens is an outstanding piece of music performed by a stellar band. Kleinert is a talented song-smith with a captivating vocal style. The song is well arranged, showcasing Kleinert’s multi-faceted abilities.
This is a song for listeners that dig music full of emotion and expressiveness delivered in an intense, yet intelligent and polished performance. Kleinert doesn't hold back. "I gave ‘em everything I had to offer. I gave ‘em the best that I had." He certainly does, and you won't want to move on after you hear this song.
For more information about PK and the In-Between, please visit his website.