Chris Sligh’s debut solo album, Running Back to You drops today…
And lucky me…I have an advance copy!
Chris Sligh was my favorite Season 6 male vocalist, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting his debut solo album “Running Back To You” from Brash records. I was a big fan of the record his band, Half Past Forever released last year, Take a Chance on Something Beautiful. Some of those songs are on the new album, and benefit from professional production.
The album has a Christian theme, but even this agnostic lapsed Catholic can identify with the themes of love and forgiveness found in the lyrics. The melodies are strong, which is usually the thing that compels me to listen to a record over and over again. The single, “Empty Me” is currently sitting on the Hot Christian Songs chart at #17 and the Christian Adult Contemporary chart at #18.
I’m going to do a track-by-track rundown…after the Jump…
- “Arise” – This hopeful tune about new beginnings has chiming riffs and a buoyant melody. It opens the album with a burst of power pop.
- “Cry Tonight” – This is one of the re-tooled Half Past Forever songs. I love the guitar embellishments added underneath the verse. A dense, lush arrangement gives the song an anthemic feel.
- “I’m Clean” – More sweet, sweet vocals and driving power pop from Chris. God forgives is the message.
- “Empty Me” – This is the current single, and it’s got a commercial, adult contemporary sound. A very personal song. Chris wrote it about his Idol experience. It humbled him.
- “Something Beautiful” – Punchy guitar riffs wrap around a catchy chorus in this mid-tempo number.
- “Let You Know” – This was called “Know” on the Half Past Forever album. It was my favorite song there, and it’s my favorite song here. It’s retooled with a bit more guitar and less synthesizer, but the melody still soars. It’s got an unforgettable riff and a hooky chorus–“Someday, when the sky is falling…I will let you know…someday when my dreams are caving in..I will let you know..” that makes way for a killer bridge. Perfection!
- “In A Moment” – Another more cut from Take a Chance on Something Beautiful. The original reminded me of an Idol coronation song, complete with the BIG key change. Here, the production is scaled back to piano, percussion and fewer strings, and goodbye key change! The new version is sweet and plaintive. The message–stay open to love and it will heal you–comes through.
- “Are You Pleased” – Chris asks: Lord, are you pleased? Am I the person you want me to be? With a clear message and strong melody, this power ballad is single material.
- “Potential” – This tune is about growing older, but not necessarily growing up. This one’s got a soaring vocal and great melody. More single material.
- “Loaded Gun” – Chris sings backed only by strings. This ones got an edgy sound.
- “Waiting for You” – Another little pop gem from Take a Chance on Something Beautiful.
- “Love is Raining Down” – Like “Loaded Gun”, this has a hard edge. I prefer Pop! Chris, but this one will play well live.
- “Vessel” – Acoustic guitar and strings end the record on a pretty note. This is a really nice showcase for Chris’s vocals. The tune reminds me of a Christian Dan Fogleberg.