Robert Chaney CRACKED PICTURE FRAMES

Jagged Lines

Welcome to the dark side of life This is a competent debut from young US singer-songwriter Robert Chaney who comes over as an extremely troubled soul. Written in South Florida’s swamp country and recorded at Ken Brake’s Regent Park studio in London, the album is a commentary about just about everything that represents the darker side of life. Road accidents, murder, breakups, heartbreak, domestic abuse, assault, it’s all here as Chaney almost talks his way through ten rather bluesy numbers accompanied by just his guitar. The arrangements are therefore rather spartan but nevertheless listenable as the artist takes on the mantle of a Townes Van Zandt sound-a-like. Black Eyed Susan is an unusual take on domestic violence sung from the ashamed abuser’s point of view. The Cyclist is a complex tale that has a Long Black Veil theme, the story of an affair with a brother’s wife which goes horribly wrong when they run down a cyclist on the way back from an illicit tryst in a motel. The mood and pace change for Birds And Bees which takes an old-timey feel. Strangely, the lyrics to this one are not included in the CD insert. The Ballad Of Edward And Lisa is an expertly crafted number but so gory, it will send shivers down any listener’s spine. Robert Chaney is clearly a very talented songwriter and is in demand on the London club scene. It really is a very listenable album but I’d not recommend it if you want cheering up. John Roffey

www.robertchaney.net

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