Christopher Owens – Lysandre (2013)
Former singer of American indie rock band, Girls, Christopher Owens sets off on his solo journey here with Lysandre.
I really am unsure how I feel about this album, it is really hard to get my head around. The opening lyrics to Love Is In The Ear Of The Listener “What if I’m just a bad songwriter; and everything I say has been said before” say a lot, I think, about the anxieties of setting out solo and the chorus “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is a sentiment I have to proffer here, in my genuine state of not really knowing what to think about this album. My review is not going to do it a huge amount of justice and I feel that you may have to listen to understand why I am so unsure.
Opening track, Lysandre’s Theme, is a chamber/baroque-esque melody; this baroque theme is a constant presence on the album, as flute is incorporated into the instrumentation and the melody is repeated throughout the album. Here We Go gives a better impression of the overall theme of the album, a soft indie/folk pop song with acoustic guitar and soft vocals, before incorporating the aforementioned baroque elements, harmonica, and a really jarring electric guitar; for some reason it reminds me of Ween’s take on folk song Cold Blows The Wind, while New York City incorporates saxophone, and melodically sounds like Time For Truth by the Jam. Riviera Rock stands out to me; a mostly instrumental track, with a chilled out somewhat ska rhythm.
Overall, I wasn’t totally blown away, I found the vocals a bit weak at times, and the sentiment fairly insincere the whole time; reminding me of Ween or Ergo Phizmiz’s deconstructions of pop music; and maybe that was Owens’ goal, I don’t know. The baroque–pop experimental approach is admirable and works relatively well. But, in the end, you are going to have to check it out yourself, it’s interesting.
Favourite tracks: Riviera Rock, Lysandre, Everywhere You Knew
Spotify link: Christopher Owens – Lysandre