MP3 Chris Bryan - The Sum of my Habits
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POP: Today's Top 40, FOLK: Folk Blues
When pop music began, most artists spent a week or two recording and mixing an album. Chris Bryan just spent 16 months recording âThe Sum of my Habits.â Apparently, itâs difficult to find time for the studio when youâre finishing up college and student teaching.
âThe majority of the material for this album was created while grading essays and drinking red wine,â Bryan admits. âI would give somebody a B+ and then run to my bedroom to write down a melody.â
Bryan, a Hope College graduate, is somewhat beside himself with the knowledge that he spent 60,000 dollars on a college degree â an arguably unnecessary piece of paper for a touring musician - but Chris says he feels at least a âlittle bitâ smarter.
In his third year in Michigan at Hope College, Chris recorded his first album, âShades of Blue,â with longtime friend and producer, Nick Sleik. Unfortunately, with a full load of college classes, they were burdened with the inability to fully promote it. Fortunately, good music has a way of getting heard. The album soon sold in all 50 states, and the reviews from the press couldnât have been better. He was dubbed, âThe next John Mayer,â by Plugged-In-Music, received a four-star rating from âDiscovering Artists,â and âImpact Sitesâ recognized him as âa name you will be hearing a lot of in the music world for years to come.â
Now, with the release of his sophomore effort, âThe Sum of my Habits,â Chris Bryan has further proven himself to be a major force among singer/songwriters. Delicately balancing between jazz, pop, and blues, Bryan has blended a variety of musical genres and created a truly unique sound.
âI felt like Shades of Blue was my attempt to prove to the world that I can be clever,â Bryan claims. âLike the line: âThe futureâs just erasable historyâ (quoting âDay to Dayâ), thatâs clever. But it doesnât carry much emotional content with it. The interpretation of the line sort of ends right there â itâs cut and dry. I feel like Iâm done trying to prove to the world that I can write clever lines with quick rhyme schemes. Music isnât supposed to be a puzzle, itâs supposed to express the truth about my place in the world and how I feel about that particular place. Now, Iâm not saying that I donât try to write anything with wit, or that rhyme schemes arenât important, because I do and they are, but the reason Iâm so pleased with âThe Sum of my Habits,â is that the material is more earnest, straightforward, and heartfelt. These songs are a true expression of my habits â the way I interact with my life emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.â
âThe title of the album is actually borrowed from Aristotle,â Bryan reveals. âIn some of my reading I came across an Aristotelian statement which argued that a manâs character is simply âthe sum of his habits.â I like that. Someone can talk the day away about who they want to be and what their future holds, but in actuality, weâre just the sum of our habits. I wanted to address this issue head-on with the new album. I wanted each song to be an insight into my character â my thoughts, my dreams, my fears, and consequently, my habits."
The album is packed with emotionally charged material, from âSeasonsâ â a quiet prayer for change, to âThousand Times Goodbyeâ â a painfully honest description of the difficulties in letting go of a relationship. The 16 months of tireless work have resulted in an incredibly revealing and personal collection of songs that show a well developed talent for imagery and metaphor, as well as a performerâs charm. With the strength of this new album and the nationwide recognition Chris Bryan is gaining, it seems inevitable that people will be more than satisfied in making âThe Sum of my Habitsâ one of their favorite listening habits.
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