MP3 Chris McCoy & The Gospel - Colder Chicago Sept. Hymns
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9 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Americana, ROCK: Folk Rock
The Other Paper:
"McCoy, the titular frontman and guitarist, is a towering presence in person, but on the record his size is eclipsed by the power of his own voice. With a gentle, poetic style, the obvious point of reference is the hallowed romanticism of Nick Drake or Jeff Buckley.
However, whereas many singers clumsily mimic Buckley's ethereal high notes and aching lows, McCoy seems to come by it more honestly and naturally. A highlight of the well-played album comes as McCoy hits those quivering highs during the Beatles-esque "Westgate." You can't help but get a shiver down your spine.
As a counterpoint, McCoy's rattling lower vocal register is soemthing akin to the Lemonheads or the Doves. Acoustic opening track, "Awake and Under" could pass for a lost highlight from the Billy Bragg and Wilco collections of lost Woody Guthrie songs.
Floating by like a half-finished thought, "Girl by the Water" calls to mind the melancholy charm of Joe Pernice or Columbus's own Moviola. The song seems to start and end in the middle, adding to its foggy, dreamlike quality. Despite the heartbroken air, the songs always have an optimistic twist, often courtesy of a warm organ line or graceful guitar run.
Although McCoy steals the show, the Gospel truly is a top-notch collective. A lush mix of mostly acoustic guitars, bass and keys, the stellar accompaniment doesn't overshadow McCoy, but it doesn't fade into the background, either. It's a beautiful balance - a well-heeled blend of alt-country, folk, pop and good old-fashioned Midwestern loneliness. If this record is any indication, Chris McCoy adn the Gospel won't be overlooked much longer."
-Karen E. Graves
"Buoyed by his four backing musicians, the tunes rise above the folk rock fray and become something special. On Colder Chicago Sept. Hyms, McCoy's baritone moan is bolstered by clever, elegant arrangements that hide in the background and emerge with repeat listens. The Gospel â Matt Wagner on guitar, Jess Faller on keyboards, Mark Miller and Matt Carter on bass and drums, respectively â has done its job exceptionally well. Tasteful flourishes such as the piano introduction to "Pages I Fall In" and the guitar flares of "No Devil" are graceful brushstrokes on McCoy's Midwestern canvas."
"His songs are crafted with a nod towards and older folk, even soul, tradition, where lyrics detail the bottomless sorrows of heartbreak and the highs of exultation. The songs have the fortitude to stand alone in the sparseness of Chrisâs solo performances, but when fleshed out by the rather talent-packed backing band The Gospel, they take on the whip-cracked energy of American rock and roll vigor. McCoy is an able penman, but probably most noted for accomplished guitar playing and his lustrous, suede-like voice. He waivers between haunting and downright moving as he progresses from whispers to a full on howl. The backing band is aptly named, as there often is a spirituality, almost revival quality about some of the songs, and the name aptly implies a certain soulfulness apparent in the music."
"His songwriting is deft and clever often exhausting your imagination with a few imaginative twirls"
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