Release Date: September 21st 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Chris August– What You’re Looking For EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
- Little Lovin’ Left To Do
- You Make Me Sing
- The Campfire Song
- This Is Us
- Just Close Your Eyes
Chris August needs no introduction. No seriously- if you want to know more about him and his music, just read my brother Jon’s review of Seasons which released earlier this year. Now, have you finished? Well let me tell you that just this past week, Chris unveiled a second project unexpectedly. What You’re Looking For is a 5 track EP of more positive mainstream-y songs, with the result being a breath of fresh air to myself, and hopefully to others. As Chris isn’t tied to a label anymore, I suspect that he’s not that concerned with whether critics will love or hate his latest offering. But let me just quickly voice my opinion- and then if you all hate these 5 songs, you can go back to listening to “Starry Night” and “Center Of It”, ok guys? This will only take maybe around 5 minutes of your time…
Opening the EP is the acoustic guitar driven, honest and vulnerable “Little Lovin’ Left To Do”. As Chris prayerfully laments his missed opportunities of telling the girl he’s interested in, that he is interested in them, this melody is a reminder for us on a much bigger scale- to live life in the moment, without any worry or regrets, and to live life as if we all have nothing to lose. With this song being a metaphor for being fearless and acting on faith despite our apparent lack of bravery and courage, we are encouraged to just go for our dreams despite rejection. After all, it is through rejection that we grow as people, and through our experiences, we become wiser. Eventually something will come our way and by that time, it’ll be completely worth it. “You Make Me Sing” is also another relationship style song, as Chris sings fervently in this acoustic guitar ballad to his wife that she makes him better, and she makes him want to sing about her everyday.
“The Campfire Song”, yet another relationship-style melody, is where Chris takes the tempo down quite a bit, and sings as if he’s singing in front of a campfire, reiterating that ‘…you love music, and the smell of summer rain, well I have this old guitar and a pocket full of change, so. I might be what you’re lookin’ for…’, while Chris declares that he and his wife are now part of one story together in the moving “This Is Us”, that is sure to make even the hardest of hearts emotional. The EP ends with the piano led 5-minute-long “Just Close Your Eyes”, as Chris earnestly relays to us that even if he and his wife are fighting, that reconciliation can occur if one party closes their eyes, and imagines their life without the other. I know, it’s a simplistic view, but I reckon this song is probably the most impactful, and a fitting ending to a strong EP, quite rare considering that I don’t relate to much of these songs due to my current singleness.
Releasing just in the last week, and being the most surprising EP/album release of the year thus far, Chris August’s latest effort is one to cherish, remember, savour and highlight as the songs on What You’re Looking For take on a whole different meaning when you remember that Chris used to be a mainstream artist back in the day- it’s clear that his love for recording pop songs have always been there. With every song on this release having a double meaning- sung either to his loved one or to God, there’s no denying that Chris’s passion oozes out of every song he sings. With Chris’s unique musical style that sets him apart from other CCM artists like Josh Wilson, Brandon Heath or Matthew West; Chris continues to wow fans and critics alike with his whimsical fun atmosphere, his serious moments of heart and hope, as well as songs that are just plain enjoyable and fun, with this album being no different. In the past Chris has recorded fun melodies like “Candy Wrap” and “The Discount Song”, and so for him to drop an EP full of personal relationship style melodies is nothing surprising. What is surprising is how much I enjoy the songs- given how little I do listen to mainstream music. Goes to show you how important the artist is when I listen to songs. Anyway, Chris certainly needs to be congratulated here, and this is a perfect EP for anyone who loves soul-pop, and enjoys music by similar style artists like Unspoken, Dara Maclean, Shawn McDonald or Jimmy Needham. Well done Chris, can’t wait for the next album whenever it releases!
3 songs to listen to: Little Lovin’ Left To Do, The Campfire Song, This Is Us
RIYL: Ryan Stevenson, Unspoken, newworldson, TobyMac, Jimmy Needham