Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: Sandy Chochinov

Sandy Chochinov - I’m Falling Down (Independent)
Sandy Chochinov’s ninth collection sees the Manitoba native continuing his quest to write records that are honest, lyrically concise and pull no punches. His no-nonsense approach to singing, songwriting, arrangements and presentation will, I’m sure, remind many listeners of songwriters that first drew attention around the time of punk and new wave. Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe are prime examples from this side of the Atlantic, and American performers like Tom Petty and Warren Zevon are just as relevant. Add to the equation Chochinov’s voice, not unlike a softer version of David Byrne’s, with a little Petty on the side, and you’re probably left with a performer who’s desperately out of time, but all the same, sounds pretty good to these middle-aged ears.

Chochinov’s lyrics obviously provide the core of his artistic expression and themes of faith, dignity and the passing of time reoccur. This repetition of premise does much to emphasise the ideas and notions behind the music, but it’s the tunes you’ll be whistling in the shower. Standouts: “Someone to Talk With “ is full of blame and doubt, but ultimately positive – rolls along nicely, too. “Shouting Out” is lies and betrayal wrapped up in a killer little tune, and 20 years ago “In Cooperstown” would’ve been the single, but unfortunately hardly anyone gives a fig for that sort of thing anymore.
Rob F.

Sandy Chochinov: I

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