As If to Lay to Rest
Gripping vocals, shredding lyrics, and a strangely optimistic melancholy are the meat and potatoes of Chris McFarland's sophomore effort, As If To Lay To Rest. A percussive, acoustic rock album capable of leaving emo fans shaking, punkers with their jaws on the floor, housewives quivering, and alterna-kids feeling hip for a second or two, As If To Lay To Rest is as pure and emotional as it gets. With thick layers of instrumentation fronted by McFarland's trademark worn, in-your-face voice and a tender ear for sophisticated pop poignancy, McFarland is able to combine the smarts of Elliott Smith with the boldness of The Replacements. All while crafting a tightly produced, hook-laden rock album appealing to indie, folk, and pop fans alike. To put it another way, McFarland's As If To Lay To Rest takes you to a time when the party has ended. The premises has been vacated, and you're left to clean up the mess, wondering how you ended up in this situation, reminiscing of how you didn't get the girl at the party, and how life doesn't seem to be coming up roses at the moment. Though, even with a dark, moody atmosphere looming overhead, a bit of sunshine cracks through the clouds and promises that tomorrow might, just maybe, be a bit better. And the day after that may find you shaking the dust off and picking yourself right back up. Here is an album that hides the optimism, but has plenty of it. This is the album you always crave after the dark times seem to be setting in. This is the genius of Austin, Texas' Chris McFarland.