Chris Velan: Solidago

By: Dennis Cook

There's a lubricated slide to Chris Velan's music, voice, general steez. He moves with unhindered slickness, going down real easy on his third album, Solidago (released April 7 on NewSong Recordings). There's nothing wrong with accessible stuff, per se, and the latest from this Montreal-based singer-songwriter is a pleasant reminder that chart potential doesn't necessarily equal artistic paucity. Produced by Tim Bluhm (The Mother Hips), Solidago is honey sweet and almost too easy to like. There's no doubt that the same social networking, latte drinking gals that gobble up John Mayer and Jack Johnson will find much to swoon over here – Velan's yearning, sexy voice, the warm, interesting guitars, the general coastal sunset pop vibe - but Bluhm's presence is a hint of the subtle layers in what may seem known territory. Further bolstered by contributions from Jackie Greene, drummer Adam Topol (Jack Johnson), Dan Lebowitz (ALO), horn player David Ralicke (Dengue Fever), Sarah Johnston (Bran Van 3000) and Bluhm himself, as well as other Hips, Solidago is open-handed listening that's not simple or pandering – it's just bloody catchy. Caught up in the island rhythms, analog synths, inviting sax and sensuous picking, one discovers inner sway and smiles, and that, friends, is a fine thing.

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[Published on: 4/7/09]

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Dire46daysWolf starstarstarstarstar Tue 4/7/2009 02:22PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Chris Velan is amazing. I saw him open up for Mishka and he looped everything live with one guitar. He gets like a heartbeat bass sound when he palms his guitar and loops his licks over that. I had the chance to meet him after the show and he was really down to earth and relaxed. He also blew up a cover of Billy Jean by Jackson. this guy is the real deal

Supershane starstarstarstarstar Wed 4/8/2009 07:34AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I have seen Chris Velan twice...with AOL at The Paradise in Boston and with Mishka at Sullivan Hall in NYC!! This guy rips and single handedly had the entire crowd on their feet. His live looping gives such a full sound and his reggae rhythms are as addictive as his acoustic melodies are melodic and thoughtful. “Solidago” has blown me away and is always spinning in my stereo…stoked to see Velan again when he is in So-cal. A live show not to be missed, an album to own, and A musician to follow.