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Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on February 10th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 16, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 16, Issue 49

Chris Lambert gets personal in his 10th studio album 'The Blue Hour'

By JOE PAYNE

It's not easy putting yourself out there as an artist, let alone as a person, but that's exactly what local 27-year-old singer/songwriter Chris Lambert set out to do with his latest album, The Blue Hour.

In the past, Lambert has focused more on fictional characters or stories, which work as the theme for an album, he explained. But this album was different.


STAYING BUSY
'The Blue Hour' is 27-year-old singer songwriter Chris Lambert’s 10th album.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS LAMBERT

"It's completely without poetry this time around; I tried not to use too many metaphors, and I really spent the last year and a half trying to get to know myself," he said. "I watched home movies from when I was a kid, trying to piece together what my childhood was like. I also drove across the country to Louisiana to see my dad, who I hadn't seen for seven years, and talking to my family out there."

Two preview tracks for the album–which releases Feb. 16—are available to hear online, and both reveal the introspective, personal nature of the project.

The song "Hold Me Back" begins with plaintive nylon string guitar over which Lambert shares declarative revelations about his life in his hushed tenor voice. It's not clear to whom he's telling all this personal information, but that's probably because it's meant for all of us.

"There's a lot of allusions to the fact that I'm a quiet person, and have been my whole life, and for the first time I'm getting loud, speaking my mind, digging into my past, and talking about things that I haven't talked about in the past," he said. "I kind of feel like I can now."


LOOKING INSIDE
Lambert said his latest album, The Blue Hour (album cover pictured), is his most introspective and personal album to date.
IMAGE COURTESY OF CHRIS LAMBERT

The Blue Hour is Lambert's 10th studio album, an impressive feat for someone who hasn't even reached 30 yet. More impressive is the fact that every instrument on the album is played by Lambert, and all the engineer work was done alone at Certain Sparks Music in Lompoc, where he works as a recording engineer. The album release concert on Feb. 13 is right down the street from Certain Sparks, at the historic Stone Pine Hall.

Lambert's output has been almost an album a year for quite a while, but it's a level of creative production he's used to, he said.

"I think I kind of just approach the calendar year like a clean slate, and I try and figure out what I most want to explore, what direction I want to go in, and I kind of forget what I've done before," he said. "I feel really weird when I'm not in the middle of a project, I feel useless, so I guess there's a kind of workaholic thing to it, where if I'm not working, I feel less than human."

The resulting album is quite human, from the introspection to the stacked harmonies that hours of time in the studio allow. There's lots of acoustic guitar, along with some electric guitar work used more for "texture and background" than melodic lead playing.

The lead comes in Lambert's voice, which informs the character of all of his work. His emotive tenor is reminiscent of a number of indie and indie/folk artists, it's like Ben Gibbard meets Elliott Smith, and it drives the listener exactly where he wants.

"Almost everything in this album touches upon a memory or something from my past that I felt like I needed to get out there," he said. "It's as autobiographical as you could get, to the point where I'm worried that it might be too personal, but I had to just let go and hope that people would connect and get something out of it."

Arts Editor Joe Payne always gets something out of music. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.




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How should the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District improve its A-G completion rates?

Align graduation requirements with university entrance requirements.
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