Chris Sabatino has been a singer/songwriter for the last thirteen years. He hasn’t released much music; in fact he has never released an LP. Sabatino for whatever reason has stuck to the EP format with his latest being Maybe Not This Time.
There are three songs on Maybe Not This Time and the thing that stuck out to me was the sequencing of the songs. The mood gets more uplifting and hopeful with each track. I have no idea if it was intentional but I certainly thought it was effective.
The first song is called “Escape” and I have to admit I didn’t know how I felt about his voice at first. It grew on me and I even noticed at times he sounded vaguely similar to Tom Waits in that he has a deep voice that almost crackles. “Escape” moves along at a slow BPM that is joined with the white noise of an electric guitar that is blended with clean acoustic strings. It is quite gorgeous at points. There aren’t many changes but it works because of the song’s relatively short duration and the strong vocal performance.
The second track “Here With Me” instills a sense of hope and purpose. It feels like the moment that you are going to pull up your boots straps and face adversity. Lyrically, the song utilizes simple, straightforward words. They aren't the most poetic words you will hear but they are delivered with enough honesty that works just fine. He closes with “You’re the Only One” which feels like the celebration Sabatino has been waiting for. It’s catchy, contains sweet, warm organ and exceptional lead guitar.
As much I as I did enjoy Maybe Not This Time I couldn’t help but feel Sabatino was holding back. Sabatino has no problem finding a good groove but seems hesitant to make changes.I would have liked to hear him going outside his comfort area and taking more chances when it came to dynamics and direction of the song.
Maybe Not This Time felt more like a delicious appetizer that left me hungry rather than an entree that left me content. Sabatino has some solid songs but perhaps there is some more potential there.
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