steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Chad King

"Love Your Engine" CDR

KEEP Recordings

Genres: alt. country, country-folk, indie pop

KEEP Recordings
PO BOX 18972
Tucson AZ 85731

June 21 - 27 2004

Chad King's Love Your Engine is the second release on the newly-formed KEEP Recordings CDR label, dedicated to limited edition, handmade releases of high quality.  Their previous release, Tony Moreno's Leftovers From a Wake, impressed me quite a bit, so needless to say I was looking forward to reviewing this record.  And - believe it or not - my [ridiculously high] expectations were surpassed!

Love Your Engine is the definitive home-taped country-pop album.  Chad King seamlessly blends unbearably beautiful pop melodies with a hearty dose of twang and his own wonderfully lo-fi approach.  You'll be amazed to learn that this disc was limited to fifty copies - I could see it becoming the next hit on Secretly Canadian.  KEEP is certainly earning its keep, if you'll excuse the pun.

Although Love Your Engine is very country-oriented, there is nonetheless some strong variation on this disc.  Tunes like the pretty "Dry Your Tears" and "Settle Down" blend country elements with a more folk-based approach.  Other tunes, like "Salt Mouth" and "Lucky Man" are much more pop-based; the former is a monumental slab of epic folk-pop - it feels absolutely gigantic, yet still miraculously cozy and relaxing.  The wide array of influences makes this an ideal purchase for enthusiasts of independent pop, country, and folk music - and should thus garner it a broad selection of fans.

I am just in awe of what Chad King has created with Love Your Engine.  This is one of the best CDR releases I've heard in a long, long time.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]