The singer-songwriter tradition ha a tremendous amount of individuals that really do not contribute anything to the genre or those that tend to cheapen it by just relying on the contributions of others to make it big (Jack Johnson and John Maher from the tradition of Dave Matthews, for example). However, from the opening strains of “God Is My Girlfriend”, a track that has hints of Sean Lennon and Soul Aslyum, one knows that Chris Laubis has much more involved than the average singer-songwriter. Count as another positive thing that this is not acoustic, but is tremendously influenced by this tradition. The hook to a track like “God Is My Girlfriend” is of that quality that once it inserts itself into a listener’s head, there is nothing besides a lobotomy that will be successful in removing it.
The slower tempo of “Lovechild” would be a large stumbling block for individuals that are not quite up to the task; Laubis really relies on the Neil Young tradition of things in making individuals want to listen to the track, both in terms of those who have been into the genre and those who might still be on the fence about it. “Start Again” actually ups the ante in the sense that while the song seems to have a very early nineties state of mind (eliciting comparisons to acts like Chris Isaak), Chris Laubis really contextualized the song positively for all that will listen in. The pervasive guitar line that sneaks into the later section of the disc really tends to go well with the later section that is much more couched in the psychedelic meets Eagles tradition.
Eclecticism is one of Laubis’ strong suits during the disc, especially considering the fact that one track on “In A Wyrd Place” may tie itself to ten or eleven seemingly distinct styles. The fact that everything is so perfectly primed for radio just adds a cherry to this sundae; Laubis can not do any wrong with this disc. There is not any chaff to separate from this field of wheat; individuals can just plop the disc on their player and be taken off into an entirely new realm of rock. If individuals like rock in any sense or format, then there needs to be a concerted effort to search out and find “In A Wyrd Place”. It is rock without all the pretension that surrounds the genre, a very sincere disc that never fails to impress and delight.
Top Tracks: Hurdy Gurdy Man, God Is My Girlfriend
Chris Laubis –In A Wyrd Place / 2005 Poptown / 13 Tracks / http://www.poptownrecords.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 31 January 2006