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It's Hard to Find a Friend

Pedro the Lion
Jade Tree Records

It's Hard to Find a Decent Re-release

Pedro the Lion has recently re-released their critically acclaimed debut album, It's Hard to Find a Friend. Singer/songwriter David Bazan decided to re-master, re-mix, and re-package the album, which originally hit the streets back in 1998.

Pedro the Lion's music has a very melodic and serene feel to it, and it is generally classified as "emo." In 1996 when Pedro the Lion was a five-piece band, they recorded an EP for Tooth and Nail Records that was released in 1997. Soon after that, Bazan left the band but kept the same name and now works as a solo artist. A year later Bazan dished out It's Hard to Find a Friend. This album and Bazan's next recording, "Winner's Never Quit (2000)," made audiences aware of Bazan's delicious songwriting talent. Also put out by Pedro the Lion was an EP entitled "The Only Reason I Feel Secure (1999)," re-released the same day as It's Hard To Find a Friend, on Jade Tree Records.

It's Hard To Find a Friend has come a long way since its first release in 1998. Bazan not only worked in the studio to re-mix the songs all over again, but also changed the layout of the album. The new album's format has a more refined and sophisticated look. The music on the other hand still has Bazan's signature way of delivering feelings of loneliness and confusion. At the same time, Bazan also conveys a buoyant feeling of joy through some of the songs. The guitar on most of the upbeat songs reflects "emo" and "punk" flavors.

One of the songs, "Big Trucks," deals with a boy confused about life, and questioning his father about the dilemmas he experiences. Bazan sings, "There are real people in the big, big trucks that you flick off when they're in your way." This lyric relates to the lesson that the son's father is trying to teach him, that the son needs to understand not to "jump the gun" when he is overwhelmed with anger. Within the song, Bazan uses the address, "Dear Dad," possibly reflecting a letter written later in life.

In another track, "When They Really Get To Know You They Will Run," Bazan discusses how many people find themselves unattractive mentally, therefore they arrange themselves physically just for the sake of fashion, and in doing so never stop to think about what life is really all about. Bazan points this out in the lyric, "Put on whatever makes you attractive, if it's not you, then do it for the sake of fashion." Bazan leaves his mark once again by showing a reflection of American culture through a rhythmic beat. Bazan's flavorful guitar work is nothing to overlook either. The bass line to the album is nothing to write home about, unfortunately. Bazan chose to just follow the main notes of the guitar for the bass line, which makes the song simpler but a little less enjoyable.

The rest of the album offers more life stories and poetic situations, but even if you are not one to personally reflect upon lyrics you will be musically enthralled. Other albums of Pedro the Lion include the full-length Winner Never Quit, the EP "The Only Reason I Feel Secure," and "The Progress" EP released in early 2000. Also, on the way is the full-length album Control, due to hit the streets in April 2002.

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