Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chris Richards - Pathetic History - 2001


Power pop is about hooks. And power. Not to mention a little bit of soul. For all of his ten-year musical career captured on this record, Chris Richards has been laying down powerful hook after hook with as much soul as a suburban kid from MI could be expected to have. Richards is a power pop classicist: Beatlesque melodies, Raspberries-style guitar crunch, heartfelt lyrics about love lost and found, and beautiful vocal harmony. You can file him right alongside other modern pop classicists like Matthew Sweet or Velvet Crush or Mayflies USA and feel good about it. Pathetic History covers songs by three different bands Richards formed and throws in a few solo tracks as well. Hippodrome, from the early '90s, is represented by two tracks. They are pretty straightforward rockers with lots of guitar. The three solo tracks from the mid-'90s are in much the same vein with a poppier feeling and a fuller sound. Nice, but what really makes this CD the gem it is are the tracks by Richards' bands from the late '90s, The Phenomenal Cats (cool Kinks reference) and the Pantookas. Richards began to expand his sound, using piano to great effect and throwing in horns, strings, and more heavenly backing-vocal harmonies. Tracks like "Greatest Lullaby," with its rollicking piano and "Maybe I Need You," with its bongo and piano chorus, call to mind a modern day Left Banke. The Phenomenal Cats even cover the Left Banke's classic "I've Got Something on My Mind" and do quite a credible job. The two standout tracks are the Pantookas' "I Need a Heart," an electric piano-driven song built around what else but incredible vocal harmonies. By the time the second chorus rolls around, you'll be singing along. It's that catchy. "Holiday" is a solo demo from 2000 that Richards says is inspired by his love of Jason Falkner's music. The tight chord progressions and yearning vocals do bring Falkner to mind; it is a great little rock song. Chris Richards is an undiscovered talent. If you like classic pop music, power or otherwise, you should discover him. Simple as that. -AMG

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11 comments:

Anonymous said...

great job, Curty Ray!
Chris Richards-Mystery Spot is a great cd, too!
Can you post~ Devin Davis-Lonely People of the World, Unite!

Shriner said...

Finally got around to listening to this.

Massive hooks!

This was a great share. Can anybody speak to the quality of Chris' other material compared to this album?

Anonymous said...

Rumor on the street is March 17th is the release of his follow up to Mystery Spot, "Sad Sounds of the Summer"... http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=582481588&ref=profile#/event.php?eid=49877102721

Kim Naccashian said...

I recently heard a few tracks from "Sad Sounds of Summer". It rocks!Chris delivers the goods again. A talented artist he is.

Anonymous said...

It's the same crap that he has been producing for the last decade. Need someone else to take over lead vocal's.

Anonymous said...

Super man lulaby what the crap is up with the names of the songs just an old high school band that thinks they rock.

Curty Ray said...

Wow... You guys are harsh! Thanks for the comments

Anonymous said...

Great stuff by a talented guy, but PLEASE do not use ShareBee for ANYTHING, it's scam city!!!

Curty Ray said...

http://www25.zippyshare.com/v/3181092/file.html

chorse said...

The link is already expired in less than two months. Any other chance to re-up?

genesis315 said...

could you reupload this also please, many thanks,anthony

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