Chris Grant “It’s Not About War!” (359 Music, 2013)
Liverpudlian Grant writes heartbreaking songs with a Northern sensibility – cold, wet, forlorn – reminiscent of his neighbours Echo & The Bunnymen and Teardrop Explodes. Chiming guitars ring teardrops from “Our Story”, a loving tribute to his co-author/guitarist brother, Anthony (the rest of the band are uncredited, although the more intimate tracks with just Grant and his acoustic guitar leave the biggest impression). “Pretty Mean” illustrates Grant’s skills as a story teller, a chance meeting with an inquisitive girl ends unrequited, as our narrator, perhaps unable to commit to a relationship walks away after treating her…well. The title says it all.
“Like A 45” (the significance of the reference escapes me: “I’m in a hurricane/Like a forty five”, but the piano arrangement adds a melancholic air to another tale of missed connections and open-ended relationships. And by the time Grant asks “How many times can a man fall in love/And then let go, just like that” (“How Many Times”) I’m suspecting that he’s suffering from serious relationship issues and this album is his therapy.
So if you find yourself on the precipice of a life-altering relationship decision or are suffering from a broken love affair, Grant is more than willing to pour a little heartache in your ear and welcome you into his pity party. It’s not the brightest album you’ll hear this month, but if misery truly does love company, pull up a corner of the carpet and commiserate along with this fine new talent. Maybe together, you’ll work it out, but if not, you’ll have spent an enjoyable hour of self-reflection that might usher in a few blue skies under those grey clouds hovering over your head.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2013
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