Craig Owens

With Love EP

Written by: DR on 21/09/2009 15:57:41

Craig Owens is one of the most renowned frontmen in the scene today, and unlike so many others, he's one of the few that can sincerely claim to be original. Armed with an unrivalled falsetto, an equally good tenor voice that you'll either adore or abhor, and a turbulent personal life ideal for the medium of music, Owens has built himself a decent reputation with his bands Chiodos, Cinematic Sunrise and slots in The Sound of Animals Fighting and Isles & Glaciers, plus his own solo project; Which often begs the question "just how many bands does Craigery Owens need?"

Being a big fan of his, I applaud his hard-work and clear love of music, and I was incredibly eager to hear his first real chance to take center stage and woo us all with his delicate voice that seems perfect for an acoustic offering, such as this one. Eager, yes. But not expectant. The solo project is a difficult thing to get right, and we've seen it time and time again; a band builds up a name and reputation for themselves, one of the members releases his own music only for it to fail under the weight of the expectancy their band has inadvertently placed on their shoulders.

Alas, this is what has happened to Craig Owens here. The opener "Cardigans and Swing Sets" somewhat deceives the listener, as it's nothing more than gentle strumming and Owens' whispering, leaving one hopeful the rest of the album follows suit and continues along a similar direction. "Products of Poverty" picks up the tempo, and though there is a dire and out of place interlude that seems ripped from an Isles & Glaciers track, the song is saved by a cameo from Stephen Christian (Anberlin) who steals the show - not that there is any shame whatsoever in coming up second best to that voice. "My Love" is a decent song, brought to life by the drumming, but after that, there isn't much else to write home about. If it wasn't for the sound production, I dare say this EP would fall flat on its face.

As you'd expect, it's vocally impressive and there isn't a lot wrong instrumentally, but throw in questionable lyrics such as "And for our PJs where we just never leave them / Every day is a lazy one when we're together there's just no one to impress / It's just our love, our cuddles, comfort, and don't forget our happiness" from the dire "First One, I Love You So Much More", and your gag reflex will be violently shot awake. It's not a terrible EP by any means, and the full-length will be worth a listen, it's just that we've come to expect so much more from Craigery Owens.


Download: Cardigans and Swing Sets, Products of Poverty
For Fans of: The Scene Aesthetic, City And Colour, Chase Coy
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 15.09.2009
Equal Vision Records

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