If you’ve been paying attention to this site at all over the last year or so, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Christopher The Conquered. He’s been very kind in making time to chat with me, even performing a song that’s on his latest record for an exclusive way back in 2014. He’s almost as kind as he is talented, which is saying something for both superlatives. I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll has been in steady rotation on my mobile device since I first got my hands on it in October of last year. Since then a lot has happened for Chris (being praised publicly by Ryan Adams and the subsequent buzz that followed), and I know he’s been itching to unleash this thing on anyone ready to listen. Thank the stars above that finally, next week, it will be out in the world instantly making it a better place.
I’ve had IGUOR&R sharpie’d into the number one slot since the beginning of the year and I don’t see it slipping any time soon. It’s completely different from anything else you’ll hear this year in all the best ways. It has an air of timelessness thanks in part to Chris’s phrasing and cavalier attitudes toward tempo and melody. He’s willing to take risks that would leave other artists shaking in their boots. With the trust of long-time collaborator Patrick Tape-Fleming, the songs are made all the better for it.
Take, for example, the brilliant title-track which has been circulating for quite a while now. There’s a passage where he’s talking about a dream he had, and it doesn’t really seem to have much to do with the song except it has everything to do with the song-and the album as a whole. It’s about individuality and doing what makes you feel good; creating art that helps the world make sense and being able to admit that sometimes you don’t have the answers and it can be scary, but it’s ok because we’re all in this thing together. He puts it more eloquently, of course, and takes some notes from the old jazz adage-there are no wrong notes.
Earlier this year an EP called I’m Not That Famous Yet came out that features a couple songs that are on the new full-length. Hopefully you’ve already had a chance to hear that one, as it’s a great preview of the album. You can listen to it below as a way to tide you over until next week.
I think a lot of the peppier, more upbeat tunes are easier to digest for people just getting into Christopher The Conquered, but I find myself returning more to the slower songs. “On My Final Day” is about as beautiful a song for which one could ask. “I Guess My Heart’s Out Of Tune Again” is the longest of the nine songs in this collection. It’s also the best vocal track on the record, delivered by Christopher along with Susan Marshall and Reba Russell.
There aren’t enough superlatives in the English language for me to adequately recommend this album. I think if you give it a chance you’ll fall in love with it and hold it dear like those great all-purpose albums you can listen to anytime that always makes you feel good. You can still pre-order the deluxe edition by visiting Christopher The Conquered’s website and get a bunch of extra goodies.