Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Chris Eminizer – Twice the Animal

“Defiance isn’t too precise, you just aim and fire,” explains Chris Eminizer on his new cd Twice the Animal. But he proves to be a sharpshooter: this is a remarkably smart, intense collection of lyrical rock. Eminizer may play under his own name, but he’s definitely a rocker. Most of the songs here feature lush arrangements with watery electric guitar, occasional keyboards and tersely atmospheric horn and woodwind passages (Eminizer is also a wind player). Recent Peter Gabriel, minus the qawwali influences, is the obvious comparison, both in terms of socially aware worldview and vocal approach: Eminizer sings with a similarly aggressive, frequently nonplussed insistence.

 

The cd’s opening track, the nonconformist anthem Form a Single Line shows off a characteristic, sardonic, smartly crystallized lyricism:

 

I can see for miles in all directions all the time

A side effect of poor design

 

It’s followed by a snide dismissal of online dating shallowness and then the gleefully pounding, bluesy sniper anthem Crack Shot. With its catchy guitars, Rhodes piano and 80s synth flourishes coming out of the chorus, the metaphor-laden Shark Cage (a tribute to the virtues of maintaining a facade) is one of the more overtly Peter Gabriel-inflected numbers here. The intensity reaches a peak on the fiery Ashes to the Sun, a savage rejoinder to the masterminds of 9/11, “Turning back the the pages as an insult to our future selves.”

 

Among the cd’s other standout tracks, there’s the Nick Lowe-ish Move Along Now, a cautionary tale: screw people and it will come back to you. There’s also the vivid kiss-off ballad Thanks for the Call, and the wrenchingly intense concluding cut Float Away, its narrator so habituated to despair and defeat that when karma comes around and something good actually happens, he has no idea how to react. It’s an uplifting way to end this potently unsettling album. Look for it on our Top 50 Albums of the year list in December.

 

Good songwriters never have a hard time getting quality musicians to play their songs, and this cd testifies to that, its contributors including Clark Gayton on trumpet, Jenifer Jackson drummer G Wiz AKA Greg Wieczorek and another compelling performer, Emma Tringali adding her singular vocals to three of the songs.

April 20, 2009 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.