Monday, July 6, 2020

Music Review //
Christopher Chaplin
"M"


https://open.spotify.com/album/28YggxzERG7InuDkSzoE2s //
https://christopherchaplin.bandcamp.com/album/m //

"M" opens with a song called "Metamorphosis" and it starts with a bang.   Through heavenly singing (but without words), some horns and just this overall pleasantly uplifting feeling come words spoken.    Delicate strings are plucked amidst the crash of various metal pieces.   It's beauty and chaos at the same time.   Beats come in as the monsters of the deep now take their place.   This isn't a song; it's a film.    Singing now, without words, as the spoken words are going along with it all.   This is definitely some kind of show where some kind of creature comes out of the water and causes havoc. 

Recently, I've watched that "Aquaman" movie and I think of "JAWS" but neither seem right.   What is the water version of Godzilla?  The title is in the lyrics now.   More angelic singing as well.   I'd love to see this unfold as a video, as I think it could have some powerful images.   Words continue as poetry and the clanks come through with the holiest of tones.   This one is both pulling me up and down at the same time and I like it.   I've heard music which felt like it was at war with itself before, but not this powerfully.

On "A Sea Change" there are lighter tones floating around with vocals by Mira Lu Kovacs, first spoken and then singing.   The bass follows behind with a rhythm and crashes of metal, such as heard in the previous song.   Still, this brings about thoughts of something like Fiona Apple or a more contemporary singer which I can't quite put my finger on but I want to say Norah Jones.    There is a power to this song as well, where it feels as if it wants to pull me into the sea.   The bells, the rattles, the beeps- there is a lot going on here.  Ding-dong.

The music moves with an urgency, acoustic plucks fill the room and then the bass creeps in.   Strings cut through sharply and I feel like this would set the perfect score to a spy movie directed by Hitchcock in the 21st Century.   The beeps just really carry this one right up until the end and in contrast to the first song this one has more singing and it feels more like a traditional song in that sense- though the first could be closer to poetry- but I feel like neither of these are traditional songs because of their length and many layers.

"Mutability" is the third and final song, though it is as long as the previous two songs combined.   Words are spoken by two different voices at two different times and then at the same time.   I'm feeling Steve Scott in this.   The beats are back there but they're subtle as we're barely scratching the surface.   Everything grows into a loud rush and then it feels as if we've gone into some kind of dance with higher voices behind the urgency of strings.

In many ways this feels haunted.   When you listen to it at night it can be somewhat scary and not in a horror movie way but just the suspense of it all.  It's the tension which you could cut with a knife.   As it rings and rattles it just drops off into such a dark place with deep bass, but those angelic voices continue to sing on.    "A dream" and then the words come through all chopped up so we cannot understand them.    Words come through like on a police scanner and these strings and dings maintain some sense of music as all of the words get spoken.

There are clips about a bipolar uncle now and this feels like it is someone's dreams or mind.   It's that idea of having all of these thoughts rushing around in your head at the same time, not knowing how to process them all because it's all happening so fast and you just wish you could isolate them and deal with them one at a time.   Somehow, Christopher Chaplin has found a way to represent this thing which I thought could only exist within our minds.

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