"Chris Price was raised in Miami, but his music is quintessential L.A. This was delightfully apparent in his insightful production of Rainbow Ends, Emitt Rhodes’ first album since 1973, and now on his own Stop Talking, which stopped me in my tracks. With 14 songs, each conceived and executed with jewel-like precision and withering candor, Price has made an album of revelatory musical and lyrical eloquence, a work that reminds me of Harry Nilsson at the peak of his powers. Imagine Nilsson Sings Newman with George Harrison on guitar and string arrangements by George Martin—and one guy playing all these roles.
When I asked Chris via email what he picked up from Nilsson’s records, and what other artists helped shape his style and sensibility, the 32-year-old polymath responded: “Nilsson had a knack for locating the humor in tragedy, and the tragedy inherent in humor. He was like a great stand-up comic in that sense, always letting you know that things were deeper and more complex than what’s on the surface and actively trying to reveal that complexity to you. It helped that he was perhaps the greatest male pop vocalist of the 20th century. Other artists I am drawn to for similar reasons are The Kinks and the wry, cutting songs of Ray Davies; Nick Drake, who nailed alienation and longing better than almost anyone; Antonio Carlos Jobim, who reveals emotions through chords almost more so than through lyrics; Randy Newman, obviously; and of course, Lennon/McCartney/Harrison.”
Price is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of the 40-odd songs he recorded during the Stop Talking sessions, while also finishing up the debut album of the power-pop supergroup Bebopalula. “It’s incredibly gratifying to be back in a band, especially one where everyone else is such a good singer/songwriter in their own right,” he says. “It takes so much of the pressure off when you only have to deliver 1/4 of the material, and the rest of the time you can really focus on making your contributions as a musician as impactful as possible. The album has a very unique sound, I think unlike anything else around currently.”
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