Artist: Chris Stamey
Label: Yep Roc
Release Date: 06/02/2015
It’s an apt title this, given that Chris Stamey has always been a master of euphoria in one way or another for quite a long time. One of the preeminent masters of that loosely defined domain known as power pop, Stamey has served as its role model of sorts ever since blazing its trail with the dBs, and then later on, as a solo artist, producer and duo, with his pal and like-minded auteur Peter Holsapple. In an unstable universe, Stamey can still be counted upon to help set the standard.
As a result, the new album, Euphoria, is all fans have come to expect over the years: a series of songs geared towards, yes, euphoric melodies and basic pop precepts. That means a strong pull towards the Beatles-Badfinger axis on tracks like “Make Up Your Mind” and “You Are Beautiful” (which actually begins life emulating the Billy Preston/Joe Cocker standard of practically the same name). Other tracks stray towards common ground, with those that emphasize the exceptionally rocksteady (“Universe-Sized Arms,” “Rocketship,” “Where Does the Time Go?,” “When the Fever Breaks”), more mid tempo fare (“Dear Valentine”) and even a strong hint of psychedelia (the title track). Several bonus entries are also included, with an enthusiastic take on Tommy James & the Shondells’ “Draggin’ the Line” providing a special treat.
Longtime fans already know what to expect—that is, a reaction identical to that proclaimed in the title. For anyone else, suffice it to say it’s time to feel the actual embrace.