Chris Robley – The Great Make Believer (Album Review)

Rating:

After a musical break of five years, the talented Chris Robley has returned with an album to reinstate his place in Indie-Pop.

At first glance, the album has an overall country/folk vibe with styles similar to bands like Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw.  Chris employs a mellow, relaxing tone throughout the release, which suits the emotional message that helped inspire the album – the effects of heartbreak.

Veteran’s Day is a prime example of how Chris stirs emotion through his music, as we can feel the pain behind the lyrics as he describes his past love. The slow, chilled guitar riff at the start of the song is calming, and Chris is able to create this sensation in many of his songs. It’s evident that Chris has the power to create this effect in much of his music, which is an impressive skill to have as a musician.

No song summarises this skill, or the album itself, quite like Anonymous. Chris released this track as the album’s lead single at the beginning of March, offering an upbeat guitar riff that effectively foreshadows what’s to come with the rest of the album. Chris made the right choice in using this track to open the album, setting the perfect scene for what follows while also hooking listeners. From the message behind Anonymous, we can gather that the album has the theme of heartbreak, specifically the remorse felt after a break up and the various effects that comes with that.  It’s clear that Chris has wanted to incorporate his personal experience into this album and the meaningful lyrics emphasise the pain that comes with any relationship and how it can have different effects on all of us.

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Various emotions are present through much of the album; guilt, regret, anger, longing and hope. Specifically in Veteran’s Day, where the lyrics emphasise the painful longing towards his past love. The tempo changes later in the song however, during the chorus where he sings “how better able to love are the faithful and young“. Despite the sad message behind the song, Chris is able to still reinforce a cheerful vibe that gives the song hope.

We get a change in tone in 1973 where we hear what sounds like the story of how two parents met, fell in love and started a family. Despite sad lyrics like “I couldn’t go on singing a song knowing the words were wrong“, the song remains upbeat and doesn’t make for uncomfortable listening. The instrumentation contrasts the bluesy tones found in other songs, proving the scale of Chris’s musical diversity. The song has an almost summery feel to it, and is one of my favorites from the album.

Chris has most definitely shown his lyrical talents in this catchy, pop-folk album. The hard work put into the production of the album has paid off and emphasises the dedication behind Chris and his passion towards doing what he truly loves. A country-tinged, summery collection of music.

4/5