'The Paper Grenade' from Chris Tye - an indefinable ‘something’(November 16, 2014)
It’s a deep-rooted certainty that some artists will always make a difference and cut through the ‘background noise’. You hear the music and its stimulating, the lyrics touch you with an indefinable ‘something’ and you know that it will stay with you for some time to come. For me, the latest expression of that conviction is the album ‘The Paper Grenade’ from Chris Tye.
These songs are narratively personal, with a sense of rawness that cuts and a simplicity that tells the stories in a way that makes them remarkably accessible. The melodies are attractive and the range of instrumental accents shackle them to memory. Add a voice that delivers feelings of natural naivety combined with discerning insight, and The Paper Grenade is an album to soak up. Make the most of it, choose a time when you have the occasion and inclination to let yourself slide into Chris Tye’s expressive observational world - he writes a fine song and that’s what makes the difference.
The opening ‘Heart To The Ground’ sets the scene, and then ‘Lisbon Harbour’ displays more, before you move through the depths of ‘Breakdown’ – waiting there for exploration, while ‘The Unassuming Start’ expresses a clear, easily recognised reality. There's also on offer the drive of‘For Daisy’, muted longing in ‘Baby When I’m Down And Out’ and the stripped sadness of ‘The Paper Grenade’.
Chris Tye's lyrics make their point. There's an unassuming genuineness and an edge to ensure the messages stick with you - and you can’t ask an artist for a lot more than that. You can find Chris Tye and his music here: www.christye.co.uk
Playing on The Paper Grenade there’s Chris Tye (guitars, piano, keyboards, percussion, vocals) with Michael Clarke (bass guitar, piano, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals) Matt Hart (drums) Jayne Powell (backing vocals) Simon Davies (piano, backing vocals) Simon Smith (upright and electric bass) Jaynie Berry (percussion) Stuart Wilkinson (drums) Hannah Lawson and Jools Street (violin) Kate Staddard (cello) and Hugh Rashleigh (brass).
Reviewer: Tim Carroll