With his now-defunct band Girls, Christopher Owens was a stylistic crate-digger, repurposing classic-rock gestures. On his solo debut, he nails a Seventies-singer-songwriter sound oozing treacle and sincerity, all folk guitar, flutes, supper-club saxes and vintage keyboards. It fits the concept: a loosely autobiographical musician-in-love song cycle that reprises the same pastoral melody, from the genteel psychedelia of "Here We Go" to the reggae lite of "Riviera Rock." But couplets like "I remember lookin' up the barrel of a loaded gun/Texas cops and cookin' drugs" show something thornier than just a warm-fuzzy irony-free zone. It's easy-listening music for deeply uneasy times.
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