Chris Stamey: Lovesick Blues (Yep Roc)

 |   |  <1 min read

Chris Stamey: Astronomy
Chris Stamey: Lovesick Blues (Yep Roc)

Given Stamey was one of the mainmen in the dB's who bridged Beatlesque power-pop and college radio indie-rock (eg REM) in the Eighties, this solo outing might come as a surprise.

He mostly dials down the backbeat and repositions himself as singer-songwriter with one foot in the slightly dull country-folk camp (the funereally paced seven minute title track) or gets tripped out in a late 60s way (the orchestrated, Indian-influenced and droning Astronomy).

There are still flickers of his pop persona (the acoustic opener Skin, You n Me and XTC) but most of these songs sound much more personal and often quite intimate.

That said, there's at least one too many songs about being a musician (the tediously indulgent London elevated only by strings, I Wrote This Song For You) but the most delightful entries (the dreamy Anyway, that repeat-play Astronomy, Wintertime) are the keepers and while the five minute-plus Room Above the Bookstore might seem endless he pulls you into his allusive narrative.

Much of this refers to styles and influences from before the dB's era (Brian Wilson in places) and, if not always successful, at its best suggests a rewarding direction for a man who knows songcraft.

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Volcano Choir: Unmap (Jagjaguwar)

Volcano Choir: Unmap (Jagjaguwar)

This album was on repeat play while I was at my desk and after a few times through I thought it one of those projects where people just make a interesting noise but haven't actually got a tune that... > Read more

Ruthie Foster: The Truth According to Ruthie Foster (Shock)

Ruthie Foster: The Truth According to Ruthie Foster (Shock)

This impressive soul-blues singer makes a guest appearance on the new Eric Bibb album Get On Board -- and Bibb contributes two tracks to this diverse collection of material which roams confidently... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (2011 reissue)

Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (2011 reissue)

Those who were there say everything changed when he walked in the room and started to play. He’d been away a long time -- learning guitar was what they said -- but the last time anyone had... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more