Year : 2013
Genre : Country with a Honky Tonk leaning
Origin : United States
Official site : > - here - <
At surface level inspection, Chris Leigh might seem to be a diligent practitioner of stone-traditional - not a negative attribute at all - honky tonk country, yet his eloquent/unrestrained affection towards spicy and hefty rhythm patterns imbues this soberly paced release with a sense of restless-, adeptly presented country exploitation. And, let's be honest, folks : country is best when it is under rabid exploitation.
Leigh offers and maintains steadily constructed harmonic/melodic focuspoints through which he inspects the timeless anatomies of traditional country with the eyes of a true scholar. Sure enough, there are some much welcomed counter-pointings to the more intense declarations, such as the third track, "If You Make It To Heaven" - whereas the very next track, "Ramblin' Man" deliberately takes the intensity of country to hell and back Johnny Cash-on-speed style - even though Johnny has his own history of excessive roadway-speeding, as far as I know.
In the context of these upbeat tracks - which definitely reflect the overall character of this high octane chili barbecue package - Chris Leigh channels the same energies Marty Robbins offers in his classic "Big Iron on His Hips" - narrative musical storytelling, done in - no subtler or more precise words - "badassfull" fashion. If you are not "badassfull" when you are in the middle of narrative musical storytelling along country vibes about loaded guns, hot redneck women and dominant cowboys, then you are doing it WRONG. You have no other choice than to come across as badassfull and desirable to be around - if you can't accomplish this, someone will EAT you right off the stage, and this is how it is supposed to be in the world of country - yeehah, I might add.
Chris Leigh has a perfect understanding and a consorting dormant agreement with these dynamics, I feel, because every single track on this delivery would be a welcome addition to a Fallout New Vegas computer role playing game session, and this is the biggest and most honest compliment I could give to a release of this style. Grab a roll of beer, tiger, and read on to know more about the spin while I think nice things about you. (Honest.)
I already have expressed my perfect satisfaction with the mere length of the delivery. "Broken Hearted Friends" strikes up a tasteful balance between intensity, ultra-intensity and mid-tempo - but no place nor bar table is offered for any such misery you are insistent to make your pathetic private love to in this metaphoric bar. Your only way to relate to the album, is to party away with it. The spirit of wild west saloon music is bestowed abundantly on the surface of this disk, revealing the lingering ethos that is ready to succumb to your flattery or sell you a ticket to heaven at a discount, provided you have your charisma supported by a steady flow of dollars to invite billboard-smiles into your very vicinity. Remember that you can't look bad when a woman is smiling at you - that's the whole idea.
Without the dollars, you have no identity, nor face in the saloon, nor out there in the concrete wildwest. This notion, I feel, is something that is reflected in all country music - a secretive sadness, moroseness that is willing to express itself as a dark parody of its own dormant dynamics. (See the title of the album, what do you think it was that managed to broke all those hearts?) Of course, it was frickin/timeless country ITSELF. Country DEMANDS of you to have a broken heart, otherwise you are not even getting it at all. A happy country fan is a poser, period. The only respite is the lap of a woman, and no other respite is desired. Country music happens for the woman, period again. (No pun intended.)
Chris Leigh offers his audio statements right from the astral bowels of these covert lamentations, that which I think is shared secretly by all country aficionados. I dare you to prove me wrong and express your complete happiness as a country fan - won't EVVER happen, Sunshine. Country, secretly and covertly is a very sad type of music, because everyone shamefully know in their hearts that no individual can be appreciated in the country culture without signifying their dominance by one way or another, whereas everyone craves acceptance simply for what they are, without having to wear the masks of dominance and profitability. (Profitability in the sense that you do not mind being around that person.) Country demands these profit-masks and the relative (?) dominance, and the best mask you can have on "you" is the smile of a woman - from a male perspective, that is. You worth as much as your sense of attaining profit is able to go, and there is no profit more optimal than the wholehearted approval and appreciation exhibited towards you from a "complete" woman - once again, from a male perspective.
It seems to me that Leigh knows that it is the redneck women AND women in general that country music is happening for. "She ain't nothing but a dirty whore, and knowing that makes me love her even more." See? This is so sad and so true. This truth, which I feel permeates all country music, is contained in picture perfect style in Chris Leigh's LP, - everyone craves love, and it is not an easy thing to head-on collide with when everyone craves dollars in the process, too. The disc is traditional, reigns faithful to the secretive relative hopelessness and outright heartbroke-state that is quasi-obligatory - no cynicism, it simply how it is - to country, and it registers as an uncompromisingly honest and well realized genre specific declaration. The Dean Martin and The Johnny Cash both approve - I can tell, because they do not object when I offer this dot : .
Check out Chris Leigh at his official site - > here.
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