Chris Tavener a 20-year old, folk/rock singer-songwriter with an emphasis on original lyrics just released a demo called Human Nature. Travener tightly forges a situational narrative regarding the human condition. He explains, “Lyrically the album portrays forms of human nature that are perhaps not in a favorable light towards general society. The non-autobiographical songs detail the views and thoughts of several dysfunctional characters and their stories in an effort to create satire and comment on human behavior.” This sounds like an interesting topic and I would have loved to hear him explore it but there were a couple of times I needed a lyric sheet to understand what he was saying.
Luckily, Tavener classifies this as a demo because there is no getting past the subpar quality of the recording. The guitars sound slightly out of tune, the drums weak and the vocals are in desperate need of compression and proper EQing. If you can get past the quality of the recording it will reveal a gifted songwriter who not only has a knack for lyrics but harmony as well.
The first song on Human Nature is called “Restrained,” which is a straight-up rocker with an impressive lead guitar solo. His vocals are dipped in a deep reverb that brings out his vocals from the rather convoluted mix. ”I've A Habit To Keep Spending” trades in the rock for pop and contains a delightful melody not unlike something you might hear from a band like Belle and Sebastian. Tavener breaks out a little bit of surf rock on “Her World” while “Our Love Is Like A Possum” contains a soothing clear guitar melody that rides a walking bassline. “Cramped Conditions” is a kinetic song with a fast BPM that has some of the best vocal work on the album.
Chris Taverner is talented songwriter I just hope on his next release he has access to an engineer and decent equipment.
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