Chip Gibbons’ Billion Dollar Pill begins with the titular single, which will have listeners focused in to Gibbons’ vocals. While the instrumentation provides a deep and intricate sound to the opening point to the EP, there is much greater gravity to the discussion that is weaved by the vocals. Hints of Warren Zevon, Phil Ochs, and Neil Young can be heard alongside Gibbons’ charismatic voice. A solid production unites these two distinct elements, keeping fans firmly on their seats as they move into Inside a Hole. Inside a Hole has a calm and peaceful demeanor as Chip expresses a sense of loving, longing, and moving on in a fashion that anyone that has been in a similar situation will understand. The near-five minute run time of Inside A Hole is packed with additional twists and turns, as Chip builds off of the rich vocal tradition of John Denver and late seventies / early eighties Billy Joel.
Your Face is an interesting inclusion as the track’s instrumentation refreshes the new wave and goth genres. Chip is able to further impress the emotional intensity of the composition through windswept synths and intelligent usage of echo.
Strange Bird is a late-album winner. Robust vocals and on-point percussion unite to make an effort that would slot in perfectly on alt-rock radio station. The insistent guitar / drum / synth dynamic ratchets up the momentum considerably as listeners move into The Song in My Heart. The Song in My Heart acts as an emphatic end to Billion Dollar Pill, while providing listeners with some semblance of where Gibbons may go on future releases. The intricate nature of Gibbons’ compositions on Billion Dollar Pill make for an album that is enjoyable and can stand up to repeat plays.
Top Tracks: Inside a Hole, The Song in My Heart