November 14, 2019

if well-written, fun music with poetic observances about life would add to your day, then check this out. 

Singer/songwriter Christopher Holland’s new release Golden Hour brings the ’70s back to life. Fans of artists such as Gerry Rafferty, Kenny Loggins, and the Carpenters will fully appreciate the vibe of this album. The songwriting includes the kind of upbeat, catchy feel of modern artists such as Mindy Gledhill and Ingrid Michaelson, for those who appreciate the genre. In fact, this would be the perfect album to bring for a road trip, as its gentle music and beautiful vocals make excellent companions.  

The entire album captures the sound of the late ’70s era of pop, with catchy piano riffs and simple but pretty vocal arrangements. The opening track, Round and Round, sets the tone for the piece as a whole. On Blackheath features a writing credit with Chris Difford, and is a remembrance of a shared childhood memory of home. The rhythm section is filled out with Ash Soan and Jim Kimberley on drums, and Dave Swift on bass. Guest vocalists Siobhan Parr, Katy Shotter, and Sumudu Jayatilaka provide beautiful contributions (with Shotter lending a blues-pop punch for Beautiful Fantastic Planet). Cosmic Star is a dreamy little piece about love and hope. There’s also a Christmas tune, if you’re looking for tracks for the upcoming holiday season! But with titles like Escape Into Happiness and Life Is But A Dream, the atmosphere of the album as a whole is abundantly clear. 

The overall production values were sparse, which may be a reflection of the sound of the intended genre. The overall effect is to capture, I think, the feel of late ’70s and early ’80s pop in the best possible way, in all its magnificent innocence. I feel like there’s a line in the song So Long that says it best – “Find a kind of heaven in your mind”. If gritty sound or gripping angst is what you’re looking to find, this is not your kind of album. But if well-written, fun music with poetic observances about life would add to your day, then check this out.  

You can catch Christopher live, as support for Jools Holland’s Rhythm & Blues Orchestra through November 2019.