By Christopher Kompanek
Friday, January 25, 2013
Christopher Owens’s music filters the optimistic major chords of ’50s surf rock through a lo-fi filter of garage rock.
Best known as the lead singer of the defunct Girls, his ambitious solo album, “Lysandre,” aims to change that.
The opening track, “Lysandre’s Theme,” a medieval sounding instrumental prelude, quickly bleeds into the next, “Here We Go,” a quiet arpeggiated guitar ballad in which Owens tells us, “. . . if your heart is broken / You’ll find fellowship with me / And if your ears are open / You’ll hear honesty from me, tonight.” The journey begins and soon we are whisked away to “New York City” where gleefully dirty sax solos signal the endless possibilities.
Owens mines the contradictory fields of love and heartbreak while spanning the musical spectrum from folk to rockabilly with the occasional classical theme and jazz riff. “A Broken Heart,” a dreamy lullaby, is followed by the unabashedly bouncy “Here We Go Again” and then the soul-and-jazz-inspired “Riviera Rock.”
The result is an utterly listenable and impressive solo debut that, with a running time of just under half an hour, ends way too soon. It sounds like the rightful heir to the Magnetic Fields’ epic “69 Love Songs.” Now, we just need two more volumes.