Christopher Owens - Lysandre - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Christopher Owens - Lysandre

by Greg Spencer Rating:8 Release Date:2013-01-14

Ex-Girls frontman Christopher Owens croons on 'Love is in the Ear of the Listener' that, "Some people never get anything and I shouldn't care what people think", and he doesn't. Lysandre is an album which views the world through the scope of a young and vibrant artist who could have the world at his feet.

It's hard not to love Owens' voice; there are so many emotions wrapped up in his every utterance: soul, angst, heartbreak, and sadness, yet also a real feeling of optimism which gushes through every chasm of this record. After the opening 'Lysandre's Theme', which is heard throughout the record and chimes in at all the particular emotive places, 'Here We Go' is a beautifully heartfelt and melancholic song which embraces a great balance of instrumentation, including flutes, electric guitar fills, and gentle harmonica. It all works effortlessly.

The thing about this record is that it feels so laid-back, as if Owens could write these songs while only scratching the surface of his emotions and his own being. That's not a negative, it means there's hopefully more to come and deeper to dig. After Girls, a band who could be described as coming from the indie or lo-fi scene, Owens here has the chance to reinvent himself, write the songs he wants to write without the Girls umbrella hanging over him, and that's a refreshing thing, possibly even for the biggest fans of the now defunct band.

On 'New York City', Owens uses saxophone sounds fused with an upbeat, pop-orientated tone. It's an absolute triumph; he knows how to perfectly shape the mood of a song whichever way he wants. The album takes us on his journey, exemplified by the airplane take-off ending to 'Here We Go Again' followed by 'Riviera Rock', documenting his entrance to France. After all, the album's title refers to his French love Lysandre.

One of the best things about the record is that it never feels too sentimental. We know he's pining for the girl he fell for but it never goes completely soppy. He keeps the listener totally on-side throughout. The only downside to Lysandre is that it doesn't last longer. You feel there's more to come from Christopher Owens and we should all be there to hear his next chapter, considering Lysandre is such a gorgeous creation.

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