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Chris Fox Chris Fox
Album: Loose Ends
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 8
Website: http://www.chrisfoxmusic.org

Chris is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, performer and session musician from Cambridge. His website tells us he has been a full time musician since May 2016 'when he left the corporate world behind to pursue a career in music'. So far this decision seems to be paying dividends and after releasing his debut album 'Parallel Crossing' in 2016 Chris has been touring his local area and beyond.

Chris's musical influences are described as eclectic, ranging across traditional folk, blues, soul, country and roots with a song writing style centred around ' contemporary stories reflecting live, love, loss and humour found in the human experience'.

'Loose Ends' is an 8 track CD featuring 7 Chris originals and one reworking of the traditional song 'Lord Franklin', all of which he has arranged, performed and produced. As no other musician is either mentioned or credited, I assume this means Chris plays and sings literally everything that is heard on the album!

'Howl At The Moon' is an immediately engaging opener, shuffling in on a drum and bass heavy rhythm track before Chris's quirky, conversational style vocal. He has a gently sweet voice with a bit of husk and something of the John Mayer or Jack Johnson vibe about it. The song builds cleverly with additional guitar fills and layered vocals fleshing out the sound and rattles through very pleasingly indeed.

Second up is 'Who Really Loves You' and is a much slower, acoustic guitar based number followed by 'You Helped Me Through', another gentle track that for me has a stand out guitar and vocal performance that sets it apart from some of the other songs here.

'Which Way Is Up' has a clattery, drum driven intro and chunky acoustic guitar part with a questioning, 'finding myself' type lyric from Chris as he talks of being 'on the road now and that's what I call home, oh the places I've been and the people I've known'

Chris's take on the traditional 'Lord Franklin' is, in my view, his best musical performance on the album with its beautifully melodic picked guitar and stately vocal that gives the depth befitting of such a song.

'Better Than That' is a slightly more up tempo track, 'Love Me' slows things down again and 'Another Song' ends the album in a similar vein, but with more of a pulse as its percussion, backbeat and sweet guitar fills prod things forward as it gradually builds throughout.

There is some solid song writing and fine musicianship here, with everything cleanly recorded and produced. However, just a slight reservation, when listened through to as an album it does suffer from being a bit one paced and I would like to hear Chris move out of this safe zone a little, let rip here and there and change things up a bit.

Having said this, the good performances are very good and the 3 stand outs for me are the cleverly engaging 'Howl At The Moon', the beautifully written 'You Helped Me Through' and the quiet dignity of his 'Lord Franklin' reworking.

So, lots of good stuff here, all of which is going to enhance Chris Fox's reputation further with plenty to build upon in moving forward over the next 18 months or so towards his next album.

Paul Jackson