20 Aug Christopher Owens – Chrissybaby Forever
Christopher Owens wears his heart on his record sleeve (I’m so sorry). From the heartbreaking Lysandre – an emotionally charged concept album charting the rise and decline of a short, fervid romance – to the redemptive A New Testament, each solo album comes across as deeply personal and intensely intimate. In this way Chrissybaby Forever, with its transparency and sheer candour, is no different. However, where Lysandre was experimental with its limited chord use and narrative structure, and A New Testament explored the intriguing notion of how country would sound in Big Band, Chrissybaby Forever is an intentionally stripped down release; with Owens explicitly stating that the record was about “getting back to the basics”.
The hammered intro chord of opening track “Another Loser Fuck Up” immediately brings to mind “Lust For Life”, Owens’ break away single with his previous band, Girls, and in many ways this reminiscence is present throughout the record. This should come as no surprise however, as the man behind the production of Chrissybaby Forever, JJ Wiesler, helmed the engineer’s desk for Girls’ Broken Dreams Club and all instruments (aside from a few drum tracks) were recorded solely by Owens as opposed to his regular collaborators.
The results of this back to basic mentality and back to Girls production are 15 solid, sometimes beautiful, always reflective, classic pop tracks with some delightful oddities along the way. Highlights of the record are Owens playing with captivating immediacy on “Another Loser Fuck Up” and “Selfish Feelings”; the compelling rhythmic stutters and vocal sincerity of “Coffee and Tea”; the deliciously ridiculous squashed, flange bass on “Music Of My Heart”; the thinly veiled, sugar sweet Doo Wop ode to smack on “Heroine”; Owens channelling his inner Dylan on “Me Oh My” and the simply exquisite three track medley of “Susanna”, “When You Say I Love You” and “I Love You Like I do” which culminates in an ambrosia sweet, repeating lullaby of a melody which is sublime in its wistfulness and sincerity.
It’s a dope record and you should go and buy it.
Lots of love y’all.