Album review – Exclaim! – The Long Goodbye

Chris Velan

The Long Goodbye

Reviews > Folk & Country > Jul 23 2013

By Kerry Doole

It’s been almost ten years since the release of It’s Not What You Think, the debut disc from Montreal troubadour Chris Velan. His potential has gradually been realized since, culminating in this fine fifth full-length album. Velan has admitted that this is a breakup record, his most candidly confessional work to date. Things are kept comparatively sparse, musically, but there are enough subtle touches and intelligent arrangements to keep the music interesting. Noted producer/mixer Iestyn Polson (Patti Smith, David Gray) worked with Velan on 2011’s Fables For Fighters and their background pays off here. Velan’s vocals are plaintive yet pleasingly melodic, and his lyrics are both revealing and perceptive, as on the wordplay in opening track “Bottom of Love,” an album highlight, and “Not That Man” (“Call off the wedding, call off the hounds”). He’s joked that “this is not a summer beach album” and it is better suited to listening to in a “Hard December” (to reference one of the song titles). Velan was smart to keep this to an eight-song album, so that the self-indulgence inherent in the subject matter wasn’t over-done.

(New Song)

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