The home stretch is here as we have reached the top 10 records of the 31 Days of Music: Best of 2013. So I will start it off with one of the best songwriters to pick up a pen, Mr. Chris Stamey and his solo album Lovesick Blues.
I could run through Chris Stamey’s storied musical background, but that could take quite a while. All you need to know is he has a gift for writing, producing and recording magnificent pop tunes. Whether it is working with others or for himself he has the knack of pairing the perfect melodies with catchy lyrics creating music that is infectious and near impossible to turn off. After a busy 2012 with the return of his band the dB’s, Stamey has found the time to record a new solo record, Lovesick Blues (LSB).
Known for jangly pop masterpieces full of sweet guitar riffs and addictive rhythms, LSB sees Mr. Stamey venture out into a different direction using everything but the kitchen sink, which could be on the record I am not sure. He has composed eleven songs that are full of Stamey’s standard pop sensibilities with an orchestral sound that is pleasing to the listener’s ear. The album is loaded with songs about relationships. Whether it is wandering around town (“London”), staring into the skies (“Astronomy”) or comparisons to seasons (“Wintertime”) they all question the whys, whens and hows of love lost. The tune “You n Me n XTC” is classic Stamey. Littered with catchy lyrics and poppy melodies a road trip gone bad is the metaphor of a relationship gone wrong. The opening tune “Skin” may be the most intriguing. A haunting melody with lyrics that are borderline creepy, Stamey sings of a man who leaves his own body and enters his girlfriend’s/wife’s so he can see himself through her eyes and learn what it is like to be her for the purpose of understanding why their relationship is failing.
LSB shows that Stamey has more to offer than classic power pop music. A darker side has emerged and he wears the pain and sorrow well. While the record is an eleven track ode to failed relationships it Is not a depressing listen. Stamey has chosen his words carefully creating stories that are reflections of what went wrong instead of tales of woe and missing what is lost. Great tunes from a great songwriter equal an instant classic album that will be one of the best records of this year.
31 Days of Music: Best of 2013
31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water
18 - Devon Allman - Turquoise
17 - Kick The Robot - Music To Fight The Future
16 - Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
15 - Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido
14 - Doc Feldman & the LD50 - Sundowning at the Station
13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self Titled EP
12 - Drivin' n' Cryin' - Songs From The Psychedelic Time Clock
11 - Deathfix - Self-Titled
10 - Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues