Defined by The Troubadour as a ‘powerfully melodic and intelligent, lyrically diverse and thought-provoking singer-songwriter’, great things were to be expected from my first listen of Pete Christie. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. Residing in the Isle of Purbeck near Bournemouth, Christie is a true ambassador of the genres of Folk and Traditional music, writing honest and sincere lyrics which are lost with many of today’s modern singer songwriters.
Ranging from the stripped back beauty of ‘Just a Song’ to the full electric sound of ‘Easy Come, Easy Go’, Christie provides his listeners with a remarkable array of talent across a spectrum of 9 well crafted compositions. Every song features Christie’s signature simplistic guitar playing which lays the foundations for his plain spoken yet powerful lyrics, accompanied by the Band of the Royal British Legion Christchurch and his own backing band.
Inspired by his late mother who suffered from dementia, Christie speaks on his MySpace page of how she addressed him as ‘Frank’ which gave him the inspiration to produce the album. This is, indeed, evident throughout the entirety of the record; the emotion, integrity and sentiment found in each lyric presents his fondness and love for his mother. Certainly, his unique and mature writing style, met with lyrics which hold such depth, present a modern and somewhat ‘cool’ depiction of folk and traditional music; Christie truly is the epitome of what modern folk artists could only aspire to be.
His sincere arrangement of the Bob Dylan classic ‘Not Dark Yet’ clearly shows his sheer versatility as an artist; his individual interpretation illustrates a whole separate musical dimension to him and demonstrates his capabilities as an exceptional guitar player. Despite the open nature of ‘Frank’, the album proves slightly repetitive due to a lack of variety among songs; his pure simplicity, which often works in his favour, creates at times a rather tedious listen and each song is somewhat reminiscent of the last.
Criticisms aside, there is no doubt that Pete Christie has crafted a sheer masterpiece and his latest album proves to be a frank portrayal of an influential era in his life.
Review by popped culture