The CD version of this album includes two additional bonus tracks:
Too Many Teardrops Away (Toby Wright's Magic Barn Mix)
Try Your Best (Produced by Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady)
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“There is something deeply off about everything that’s happening here and I’m 100% sold.” – Brightest Young Things
“You know Garfield, he’s a cartoon cat, you got a telephone in the shape of his body yeah, but you don’t pick it up! Why don’t you pick it up? Pick it up!” – Christopher the Conquered
Thought it was a lyric from the next Justin Timberlake album, huh? Justin Timberlake wishes it was. The casual groove intermingles with a chorus of female background vocalists and a horn section, but it’s the “deeply off” that owns.
Yes, it’s actually Christopher the Conquered who is bringing sexy back on his latest album I Am Christopher (Grand Phony, Sept. 25th), opening with this cut and heading right into the album’s first single “Put It On Your Credit Card,” which is what Christopher (actual last name Ford) says you should do “when life gets hard” because “those motherfuckers got enough money anyway.”
A mere two sentences in and life advice has been given, even gifted, if you will.
It’s how Ford rolls as Alternative Press noted in 2016 about his previous record I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll, calling it “raw” and “emotional,” which is so, but doesn’t go far enough in explaining the head-on collision of Freddie Mercury, Ben Folds, and Hedwig that gets splattered all over the highway that is this record.
And like these icons, real and imagined, Ford has a sense of humor that lets his performances go way off into outer space without ever failing to remain grounded in truth.
Growing up in Iowa and now residing in Colorado, Ford’s spent a lot of time away from home during a decade of touring that landed him on stages with other like-minded songsmiths who also hold the line between fantastic personas and self-effacing humanism: Leon Russell, Andrew Bird, Sturgill Simpson, The Mountain Goats, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and more.
And this one deserves its own line: Ford has also been compared in the press to the most out there of all: Elton John. See also: Donald Duck stage costume.
As for I Am Christopher, the endlessly catchy songs here are not only packed with humor, they’re bubbling with reflection, as the title suggests.
“My feelings were conflicted,” Ford says about where he was at following the release and subsequent hype surrounding I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll. Perhaps he had created a self-fulfilling prophecy via album title? As it goes in the music business, there is no finish line, and the mandate to crank out product, now known as “content,” is often at odds with artistic inspiration.
Add to that the pressure that comes with quick attention that usually quickly gets paid elsewhere, and it’s a situation that not exactly conducive to creativity.
“Am I an amazing talent that the world just didn’t get?” Ford wondered. “I thought I’d done everything right.”
As it turns out, being an amazing talent is the “doing everything right” part.
“They said hey kid this is your one shot. You thought you were it, turns out you’re not,” Ford sings on the album cut “Try Again,” and for this superlative couplet, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
The tune is delivered in a way that could be tongue in cheek, could be not, but either way, Ford upended his own argument by bringing this song into existence.