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Published:March 13th, 2013 08:17 EST
Chris Stamey`s 'Lovesick Blues' Explores the Subconscious Wonders of Songs In Our Dreams!

Chris Stamey`s 'Lovesick Blues' Explores the Subconscious Wonders of Songs In Our Dreams!

By John G. Kays


The transcendent moment (for me) of Chris Stamey`s new reflective solo project, Lovesick Blues, is the B section of the title tune (Lovesick Blues, the orchestral version), which vaguely resembles (or has the feel) of Strawberry Fields .


I`m a huge fan of the DBs, but haven`t visited their music in quite a few years. Moreover, I missed their reunion last year and a new record, Falling Off the Sky. And now I`m reading that Albion has combined their first two records (Stands for Decibels, 1981, and Repercussions, 1982) in one package; I`ll have to pick that up on my next paycheck (April Fools Day).


If you`ll excuse me, I had to cue up that B section again of Lovesick Blues, so weird and cool, so innovative (but wish I could look at the tracking breakdown). Maybe that french horn sounding instrument is just an electronic keyboard (no, it`s real)? 


Lovesick Blues could use a printed booklet with the lyrics and tracking credits, unless Chris Stamey wanted to keep it confidential, a trade secret. A lovely recording though!


Maybe my wanting to break it down so much is missing the point?  Vocal harmonies are certainly a high point here; check out a choral sea of harmonies on the electric mix of Astronomy


Crosby, Stills and Nash come to mind, the masters of folk/pop harmony work; in this case, however, Chris Stamey is dubbing on top of himself, just like Todd Rundgren use to do. I can tell he`s an sound engineer; very clean and precise in his tracking. Alright, Todd comes to mind again!


What can I say, You N Me N XTC (I favor the radio mix) is a damn catchy pop song; a guitar jangler from the DBs mold (not that they have a mold, just a power word). Alright, I got mucho excitamento when hearing that Andy Partridge got involved in the arrangement of this song.


I`m an XTC groupie of the highest order, the Free Masonry kind of devotion. What`s the  `Eight Track Blues?` Well, it sounds like XTC provided fodder of inspiration when facing some grueling road travel, associated with the travails of the music business.


For the opener Skin, I recommend the video, which is on Chris Stamey`s web page for the record. I say that, since the lyrics are projected on the video. Perhaps Skin can become a possible hit single for the album; fully loaded lethal dose of this aforementioned internal narcissism that is a suggested theme of Lovesick Blues


 Okay, so scratch that, it`s more about the subconscious melodies and songs that come to us in dreams (that`s not narcissism, sorry).


I forget the exact quote of Stamey`s; by way of an apt analogy, I just remembered Woody Allen`s movie Interiors, which sorta did what Stamey is attempting here. Alright, so he used a real orchestra on the record! I just discovered that from the theme song video.


A casual impression, is that The Room Above the Bookstore is a best expression of this dream song deal he`s going for. It`s those lyrics you`d normally (to be discreet) edit in the clear light of day (in a Holiday Inn Express hotel room, not a Motel 8). The nasty word is delete; dream footage is not always rational, or better, not so institutional.

One music critic mentioned, you need to listen on a good set of headphones; I`ll reiterate that great tip! 


This is wonderfully recorded; I need to hear this over at the Bang & Olufson store on 2nd. Okay, how `bout the upright piano in Occasional Shivers; isn`t it marvy? There are subtleties within I haven`t even begun to unravel.


Very thoughtful, yet (I`ll pull a Lester Bang`s jab-rabbit outta my hat as my crescendo) the vocal performances are a bit repetitive and rote (my only complaint really).


Chris Stamey will perform for the South By Southwest Music Festival (in Austin, Texas), Thursday, March 14th, at the Continental Club at about 8 PM (with the Yep Roc Showcase).


http://www.chrisstamey.com/