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.