Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Chris Youngblood - In Love With You - 2010

This is a nice little independent number from US artist Chris Youngblood (yes - an American making a half-decent record! I'm surprised too!) . There are no killer tracks or standouts, it just rolls along nicely and pleasantly and is totally inoffensive. I mean no offense by that either, so please don't think I'm putting the set down. However being totally honest, for me it lacks that KILLER edge and being created in the dreadful musical state the US is in today one should not be at all surprised, really, and I certainly don't pin the blame on Chris for that. I'm surprised that anything half decent comes out of there these days, so albums that, say 15 or 20 years ago would have been thought of as weak are now considered standard or - even worse - superb. This is a man of talent, don't doubt that. It just lacks that something special and is simply a symptom of the nasty, horrible, repulsive R&B culture in America today. What position are artists such as Chris Youngblood put in? Most tracks are worthwhile, though - if not memorable - but by the end of the set I am hard to think of a track that would stick in my mind.

There's no homeboy homage to fear, sampling or urban nonsense here. It's laced with guitars and some nice synths amongst the arrangements and Chris himself has a nice voice if not powerful. I suppose when writing about Glenn Jones' "Finesse" set, then playing this it is going to seem like a mighty climbdown but that is, I suppose, an unfair comparison as 26 years and a different world separates the two. the opening song, "In Love With You", has a nice, summery vibe and leads you perfectly into Chris' warm world. If this song is your cup of tea - and nowt wrong if it is - then fair bets are on that you will like the rest of the CD too. It's only near the end that a more typically unpleasant R&B style is tried and this isn't an avenue I would like to see Chris travel down. It's this level of crassness that's killing real music in the US and the less I hear about "shaking booty" the better. Leave that to the kids. Please return to, say, track two "Without You" and hear something far more adult, better and long-lasting. Worth your attention.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe