MP3 Chris Robley - This Is The
Late-night indie-pop for the intelligentsia with sparking electric wires.
10 MP3 Songs
POP: Beatles-pop, POP: with Electronic Production
Praise and Press:
"this is the" is what John Lennon would be doing today if he wasn''t killed a quarter century ago. Chris Robley''s album covers several different sounds- all of them well. The musicianship is solid and the singing and songwriting are very good. The music is late-night pop with ambient folk elements. The album moves from being dark to upbeat pop and does so seamlessly. Robley also incorporates electronic noise in a very tasteful manner. Quite frankly, this is the best album out of the nearly twenty that I''ve reviewed during my time at MLP.-KC,
Music Liberation Project V2;i5 Aug./Sept. 2004
Understated but assured pop abounds on this singer-songwriter''s first solo album. Robley displays a facility with transitions- from minor- to major-key melodies, or from somber atmospherics to percussive shoves- that recalls prime Tall Dwarfs, or, OK, the Tall Dwarfs recalling the Beatles. High praise in my book but fully warranted. Robley is a confident musician, handling all but a couple of drum tracks here, employing urgently picked guitar ("Swimming Lessons") and gracious piano ("All Roads") to equally expressive and impressive effect. He shows no lack of ambition in his arrangements, with midtempo lilters like "Wondrous Withering of Days" and "Stalin Looks Back" reaching a radio-readiness that I''m not at all used to hearing on a CD that came in a folded sheet of photocopied paper. He even knows when and for how long to process his vocals (cf. "Isabelle") to cut the slight, overtly Lennonesque glibness that sometimes creeps in, while simultaneously beating, say, the last several Matthew Sweet albums on their home court. Full but never fussy, tasty but biting, familiar but fresh. Ace all around.- SA
"Had my musical brains blown out by Chris Robley. His music is manic and titanic. Don''t miss his next singer-songwriter show. Because when the revolution finally comes and he''s swept to power, you don''t want to end up blindfolded smoking your last cigarette."-Justin Carroll(singer/songwriter)
"Haunting-gorgeous-bloody-thrilling-fucking-great-music. An intensely engaging performer who holds back nothing. Just plain thrilling to listen to. A future legend, just on his way up.- Rachel Taylor Brown (Portland''s Maven of Sardonic Wit)
Tall Tales of a Short Man:
Things you don''t discuss at the dinner table seem to be the stuff of chris robley''s songs: Insurgency, prostitution, substance abuse, misogyny, mortality. He grinds taboo topics and questionable characters into palatable indie-pop, combining memorable melodies and lush, lilting arrangements into a sound boiling with danger below the surface. The immediacy of Chris'' performances comes from a place where confident artistry meets anxious desperation, where beauty meets dissonance, where raw, heartfelt honesty is expressed through the quirky voice of his characters.
As a multi-instrumentalist(guitar/piano/bass/accordion/harmonica/drumsequencing/ad nauseum), chris brings an eclecticism to his craft bordering on the schizophrenic without compromising the focus and integrity of his songwriting. In addition to performing as a solo singer/songwriter and with his electronic performance-art ensemble, The Fear of Heights, chris robley fronts the agitprop prog-punk band "the sort of''s..." He is also the keyboardist/noise guitarist for The Imprints, a Portland-based rock band led by ex-Baseboard Heaters singer, Rob Stroup.
In 2005, chris will officially release his first solo album on cutthroat pop records, "this is the," produced by Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western) @ The Type Foundry Wearhouse studios in Portland and recorded to 1 inch analog. He tracked and mixed it quickly in four days (playing all the instruments) to generate and preserve the frenetic excitement of these poetic story-songs. It''s a beautiful, rough-around-the-edges collection of ambient folk with a sheen of electronic noises buried beneath. "this is the" is a record that unfolds further with every listen like a flower bending towards the memory of the sun.