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I am the world’s worst procrastinator.Ãƒâ€š Members of Chris Sligh’s band, Half Past Forever, were kind enough to send me a preview copy of their new CD “Take a Chance on Something Beautiful” (currently available at Amazon)Ãƒâ€š more than a month ago, and I have yet to review it.Ãƒâ€š In light of Chris’s untimely elimination, I gave myself a good talking to–Hello, self?Ãƒâ€š Quit screwing around and write that review! And so, here it is.
I’d like to say thatÃƒâ€š musically, nothing makes me happier than theÃƒâ€š sound of a jangling Rickenbacker.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š In other words, I love me some melodic,Ãƒâ€š catchy pop/rock.Ãƒâ€š You too?Ãƒâ€š Well, then, get yourself to AmazonÃƒâ€š and order Half Past Forever’s debut CD.
You can sample some tunes at both of the band’s My Space pages hereÃƒâ€š and here.Ãƒâ€š There’s a video for theÃƒâ€š awesomelyÃƒâ€š hook-ladenÃƒâ€š tune “Know” posted on You Tube.Ãƒâ€š For you digital types, the CD can be downloaded from the Half Past Forever official website.
I first heard “Know” early in the season–back when I learned about Chris through a spoiler list I posted.Ãƒâ€š I was directed to the band’s My Space page back then and immediately fell in love with Chris’s raspy tenor, the tune’sÃƒâ€š chiming guitars and sweet strings.Ãƒâ€š Like I said–I love, love love the happy happy strains of the 3 minute powerÃƒâ€š pop song.
The album features more songs, like “Know”Ãƒâ€š that mine the pop vein.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š While “Waiting,” “Tunnel Vision,” and “Cry Tonight”Ãƒâ€š are strictlyÃƒâ€š PureÃƒâ€š Pop for NowÃƒâ€š People (anybody who gets that reference, wins a cookie. heh.), there are also tunes–”Hero,” “Naive,” and “Closer”–that do the pop thang with a harder edge.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š
There’s even a power ballad, “In a Moment”–that would not be out of place as an Idol coronation song–complete with climatic key change.Ãƒâ€š Since I have an aversion to power ballads admittedly, it’s not my favorite song–but it is a nice showcase for Chris’sÃƒâ€š beautiful voice.
Some of the songs have Christian themes. “Rise” is an exuberant ode toÃƒâ€š redemption. “Naive”Ãƒâ€š talks about sticking to faithÃƒâ€š in a faithless world and the protagonist in “Hero”Ãƒâ€š is “looking for a savior.”
But there areÃƒâ€š songs that alsoÃƒâ€š speakÃƒâ€š to love, friendship, betrayalÃƒâ€š and faith in moreÃƒâ€š universal terms.Ãƒâ€š ChrisÃƒâ€š (who wrote most of the lyrics) and his bandmates seem to have writtenÃƒâ€š these songs with a broader audience in mind–appealing to both Christian and secular audiences.
The CD closes with “How Long,” a lovely, ethereal ode to love and longing.Ãƒâ€š The tune starts off with a minimal guitar riff that explodes a quarter of the way through.Ãƒâ€š Very, veryÃƒâ€š sweet.
While Chris was kicked off American Idol prematurely (that’s the way the Idol ball bounces, unfortunately)Ãƒâ€š we’re lucky to have this solid offering from Chris and his band to tide us over until the tour.Ãƒâ€š Oh by the way–I just downloaded Chris’s studio version of “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” from the Americanidol.com download page,Ãƒâ€š Me likey. It’s terrific.
On another note, there’s been some controversy around the remarks Chris made to reportersÃƒâ€š during his conference call interview.Ãƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š Anybody who was pissed offÃƒâ€š after reading the various interviews around the net,Ãƒâ€š might want to read the entire transcript of the conference call posted at the USA Today Idol Chatter blog.Ãƒâ€š It puts some of his quotes into a larger context.
My impression of Chris is that he’s thoughtful, intelligent,Ãƒâ€š with a definite snarky edge.Ãƒâ€š In the larger article, he fully acknowledgesÃƒâ€š the power ofÃƒâ€š Idol to propel his careerÃƒâ€š and is happy that he took the ride.Ãƒâ€š He admits that heÃƒâ€š chose songs for himself, rather thanÃƒâ€š to please the judgesÃƒâ€š or the audience–which could have been his undoing.
Also, for more insight, you might want to check out his blogÃƒâ€š Ãƒâ€š From My Mind to Your Eyes.Ãƒâ€š Chris elaborates on some of the comments he made during the conference call.
Lastly, I want to make a big ole shout out to the AWESOME Steve-0 who runs Chris Sligh’s official fan site.Ãƒâ€š You canÃƒâ€š keep up with Chris’s post Idol appearances and interviews at her excellent site.Ãƒâ€š
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