Home > Bargain > Chris Mills – Kiss It Goodbye

Chris Mills – Kiss It Goodbye

Sugar Free Records, 2000

I have a tendency to shy away from solo artists unless they’re named Neil Young or Elliott Smith.  Usually it’s a singer-songwriter type that overdoses on emotion and makes me turn a little green.  Needless to say, the price was right when Chris Mills was sitting amidst of stack of music dreck.  I thought it was time to try and see if my hypothesis on solo artists held true.  If it did, well, I would get to walk around even more cocky presumptuousness than usual.  If not, the woman gets a chance to enjoy its mushiness.  Win-win!

For a middle of the road pop record I was pleasantly surprised by this guy Chris Mills.  For one he doesn’t try to dominate one’s listening experience with any sort of weird vocal effect like warbling or yodeling.  It’s not too high, which tends to be the norm for most singer songwriters these days, but instead sticks to a comfortable middle ground.  With an echoed tinge to it, one might feel like they’re listening to him and his band from a bar stool not too far away.  That said, it would likely be a relatively clean bar stool with people wearing sweaters and lightly scuffed jeans.  Sure, this isn’t really edgy music … but perhaps edgy is overrated anyway.

Chris Mills seems well practiced in mixing up his musical genres.  Early on, as with “Watch Chain” and “Crooked Vein”, one might think that Mills is a modern country artist.   However, on rousing rock tracks like “Brand New Day” and the excellent “Fall” it is apparent that Mills isn’t content to sticking with one style.  The predictability of tempo is also out the window when the uncomfortable relationship song “Napkin in a Wine Glass” utterly creeps along halfway through the record.  Like I said, Chris Mills is a dabbler in his presentation.

Chris Mills has a new record out these days, so give it a listen at his MySpace page or head on over to his website.

Ultimately, this is a kind of record that 90% of the general music listening populace would find something to enjoy.  Nothing on it is too loud or offensive, while every song has some sort of hook to it that makes it appealing.  I generally try to ignore the country aspect of modern times but Mills adds just enough to make me like it.  Can’t believe I just wrote “country” and “like it” in the same sentence … whew.  Tell me which way I’m heading on this slope, up or down?

“Kiss It Goodbye” is also just good enough that I may even get my wife dig it without grumbling about my weird music tastes.  So, for those who are looking for a record to stick on during a time of necessary concentration or, really, to score some wife points, go ahead and pick this one up on the cheap.

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