Hailing from Canada, Christopher John is an accomplished musician who has a rich history. He was a founding member of a band called Stabilo and opened for bands like INXS, released a number of albums and was nominated for a Juno award. The band dissolved but like most musicians John wanted to continue to make music. In 2011 he started recording The Pretty Leaves Are Following Us. It was released in early 2017.
It’s a nine-song album mixing genres like pop, alternative and more. It’s a solo album but is full of instrumentation. The production is more or less perfect but I kind of figured after six years John was going to go the professional direction.
He opens with “Restless Sleeper” and there is initially an ’80s ballad vibe between the vocals and tone of the piano. Aesthetically that's where my mind went. It doesn’t take long for the song to create a sense of tension and release. The song gets into epic territory. The next song “Hanging By A Thread” felt less emotionally heavy but more lively and jovial. I heard a bit of Peter Gabriel in there. The lyrics are original and contemplative. He sings, “Sunday in the garden / I am forgotten I lay down on the stoney ground / A thousand tiny voices whisper Hallelujah / I open up my eyes but there's nothing there.”
“Out of Eden” is very hopeful and motivating. It gives you a boost of energy while “Stop Running” is an emotionally resonant ballad. “She Haunts Me” is a pretty straight rock/pop song and “The Many Lives I've Lived” has a number of palatable melodies.
“The Real World's a Fake” may have been my personal favorite track. I really enjoyed the waltz feel and drum beat. It reminded me of Tom Waits. He closes with “Lucid Dreamer (The Oneironaut)” which sounds a lot like the title. It’s atmospheric and dreamlike.
You can tell how tirelessly John worked on this album. It was a labor of love and he put so much attention to detail in it. Even If I didn’t like his music I would respect all the obvious hours he slaved away making it.
Luckily, that's not the case. The songs are consistently great and it was a pleasure to listen to. Don’t pass this one up. Recommended.
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