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Articles Home » 2011 Articles » Antblad, Chris - 2011 Century
Antblad, Chris - 2011 Century

ARTIST: Antblad, Chris
ALBUM: Century
LABEL: Melodic Rock Records
YEAR: 2011
SPONSOR: Andrew McNeice


LINEUP: Chris Antblad - vocals

Additional Musicians: Brent Mason, Ingemar Aaberg, Christian Wolff - guitars * Joel Starander - bass * Marcus Lilleqvist - drums * Caroline Antblad, Joe Lynn Turner - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Fire Burning * 02 Century * 03 Asleep In Your Arms * 04 Battefields * 05 Get In Your Car * 06 When Fools Rush In * 07 I Stand Corrected * 08 Home For Me * 09 I'm Gonna Make You Mine * 10 Be Mine * 11 Jealous Eyes * 12 I'll Keep Holding Onto Love * 13 Living On A Lie



Chris Antblad in my eyes, will always be remembered for singing the two best songs off the Deacon Street 'II' album from 2006. A Swedish singer and songwriter, Chris sits more at the West Coast side of the bus-stop than the AOR side, and his debut solo CD 'Century' is testament to that. Some of you may remember the fallout of this album's demise some years back on the noticeboard, and the equally dramatic collapse of the Angelmilk label, for which this CD was originally intended. It made for messy reading, but good on Melodic Rock Records for picking up the pieces in the midst of the Andy Bramhall drama and the shuffling of blame which followed. Antblad wasn't the only artist affected, but let's not focus on that, instead let's have a listen to what can be described as a set of tunes deserving of a break, and 'Century' is just that.. I guess the first two references for this album will be the acts for which Chris has sung for previously within this sub-genre: the aforementioned Deacon Street and also Spin Gallery, both projects pretty similar in approach and style. However, I'll go one step further and throw in melodic/AOR/new country references as well. A dash of Canadian Roch Voisine, perhaps also Aussie singer Rick Price and a dose of Bryan Adams too. Stage Dolls and Stefan Andersson are other reference points too, gotta factor in the Scandinavian influence as well. So with those comparisons in mind, you know have a fair idea as to the direction Antblad is taking.

The Songs
Leading off with 'A Fire Burning', Antblad has a warm voice, perhaps not as pure as a guy like Roch Voisine who sings in the same genre, the music is harmless and jangly, though missing the obligatory solo. The famous Nashville like chorus which we heard on Deacon Street is revisited for the title track 'Century'. A rich track throughout, the vocals are harmoniously stacked like pancakes. 'Asleep In Your Your Arms' really has the vibe of Tennessee all over it. True, it does have a tougher texture to it and gradually builds to something momentous toward the end. The piano and acoustic guitar which permeates 'Battlefield' makes a mockery of the song title. A gentle wash, it's a beautiful listen though the lyrics are contrasting. It reminds me of the Jamie Walters track 'The Distance' from his 1994 debut. 'Get In The Car' is a drivetime slice of energy, bright and upbeat, all good and fun to boot. 'I Stand Corrected' has an upbeat modern Euro Pop sound, like Boys Of The Band mixed with Savage Garden. Unusual when compared to the material thus far. I enjoyed the breezy 'I'm Gonna Make You Mine' which has a rural flavour. Big lush synth layers colour in the spaces for 'Be Mine', a meandering dream like ballad. 'Jealous Eyes' lifts a few notches on the excito-meter, a strident drum beat with the guitars getting to see some action at long last. 'I'll Keep Holding Onto Love' comes from the Richard Marx school of AOR, though again with rich Nashville flavoured new country harmony vocals wafting through the mix.

In Summary
For the most part, much of the material on 'Century' has been targeted by ample rays of sunshine. The album comes across as pretty tame actually, and because of that, I was hoping to hear something a little bit more edgy, which didn't really occur, apart from 'Jealous Eyes' perhaps. Certainly a talented singer and songwriter, I'd like to see Chris throw a bit of grit and dirt into his songs in future, as 'Century' could even make it into the playlist of some Seniors that I know, and we can't have that.. surely not?

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