Stop the presses ...
I don't mind if Chris doesn't want to talk to the audience - I think his music speaks volumes and I attend concerts to focus on the songs and I don't care about anecdotes or jokes - since they sound a bit studied in most cases. There are a few really blessed entertainers out there - but Chris isn't one of them and that's more than okay.
But I'd like to come back to the thoughts about the first single we heard: I was confused about the choice.
Normally the record company chooses the strongest track - if the other eleven songs are on a par with this song or even inferior than I already regret my pre-order...
The record company boasted about this album as a kind of time travel back to the "good old Rea" - but this song sounds like the stuff he's been doin' for the last couple of years. Why should a record company choose just this tune? I don't get it.
I wholeheartedly agree with Munich-1983: the lyrics are also very generic and have little to do with the profundity of the old songs and this song is not comparable to old compositions that showed Chris' enormous abilities in songwriting craft.
It seems he just took a kind of blueprint and created another song from this mould - even the guitar solo is a cliché he kind of overused.
I've listened to the song about a dozen times and still I'm underwhelmed and disappointed.
there is 20 seconds of "old Rea style", from 1.55 to 2.15, wonder if record company people have only heard short samples of songs and that is why they are marketing album as old Rea style???
A wise record label manager would normally pick up maybe not the best track off an album, but a catchy one, with the most commercial potential, even if it is evident it is not the best musical effort and/or does not represent other contents of an album, which is usually different and/or too complex for a radio-friendly tune. Often an artist (including Chris himself in the past) was directly asked by his label to compose a special song for a single release. The Road Ahead is actually catchy but I do hope the rest of the album is not alike.
Yeah, exactly, this is what puzzles me much, really. There is not much sense in a kind of deception like with Knoplfer's "Beryl" that I already mention here as the brightest exapmle. Had the single been "good old Chris" and the rest of the album like his latest works (like it was with Chance of Love), it would have been very bad, but at least make sense.
Yeah, the same as with his live sets of the 2010s - everything from Chris became kind of blueprints-sampled.
Partly kidding, but I think many people in whose head this song stucks, would sing a line "gimme The Road to Hell, uhu..." instead of "give me the road ahead" - maybe this was the point of such single release?..
Good joke, actually, and makes sense if we dig deeper, but I really hope BMG managers had enough respect of themselves to ask for a live demo session like it was with Warner in late 80s and 90s instead of listening to a short sample on the phone to make decision about the album.
Last edited by andrew fischer on 26 Jun 2017, 16:12, edited 1 time in total.
Maybe the marketing specialists and executives of the record company thought that many fans would love a return to the old days and therefore promoted this back to the roots talk in order to make more money with the new album - and win back old fans that had turned their back because the last albums were too bluesy for them (or too badly produced or whatever).
So maybe they didn't really care of the album itself and its style - and just because someone wrote this stuff on the website the record doesn't neccessarily have to be a step in another direction.
Maybe I'm wrong and they are not that cynical and deceiving - but who knows...
Hi Tobias, I tend to agree with you, and even start to think that the album might be actually the blues project Chris spoke about in an interview in Spring 2016, just marketed in a way to get sold, but indeed, this would be so cynical. I would not be much suprised, though. Maybe Chris and his management got BMG label deceived too, or have and inside man over there...
some time ago Chris talked about one of his next projects which was about being on the road and the process of traveling. He initially wanted to release it as an "Earbook" again - because according to his belief as an artist you must offer more than a simple CD in order to keep people from downloading illegally.
The new album might incorporate the idea to this project - after many years now - but apparently the record company don't want "bells and whistles" and their marketing strategy is to promote Chris as if nothing had changed during the last 20 years...
now you can listen full song on Spotify, one at Youtube taken from radio is about 1 minute shorter: https://open.spotify.com/album/3X6d0NcuCZ1NLEPb4vLfF5
Now that I have listened Road Ahead about 20 times I like it more and more.
Though it is still strange that it is this "new" blues side of Rea as it was said to be old style. But I guess one song won´t define whole album even if it was made as first single.
andrew fischer liked jokes, here is another one, maybe that is the old Rea to record company that release is simple album without earbook
Maybe it is not the release format that makes difference but the fact that Chris is not doing another soundtrack at his home studio, but "normal" songs with a band in Metropolis, which they can describe as his old style opposed to self-recorded non-commercial film material. That actually makes sense, but these old photos on the cover and poster... They are definitely misleading, accopmapnied by the press release making people believe Chris is back to 80s roots... Looks like a kind of deliberate deception, indeed.
yeah, now that I think about it, this release could be great with earbook releasing style. Road movies with good music could be good to watch
Just a thought, the reason we know nothing yet about the new album is because Chris doesn't promote it outside the Social Media, one thing he seems to have negotiated with BMG.
And which sucks I think. I like some promotion.
You're never to old to dance!
many times you can listen 30 seconds clips of songs beforehand on sites like amazon.com etc. and that I would like to do with this album too. That would rise interest and would be promotive thing beforehand the release.
Just another thought: as Neil Drinkwater is told to stay within the band, and Max Middleton most likely will not join in, even though the other members of "The Fireflies" (Chris's/Max's instrumental band) - Robert and Martin - do join in, it is quite likely there is no real turning back to the genuine old style, which was to a considerable degree on Max's shoulders as co-arranger and key player, and much more likely the recent years (2007-17) style will remain, which has been much driven by Neil's vision on arranging and synths sound (which I do not like, while some others praise it).
I recall 2012 tour with both Max and Neil within the band and while Neil was usual himself, Max seemed very restrained and "out of league", providing only background keyboards and some rare and short solos, while being once the leader of the band (after Chris).
in the end, Chris is just making music the way he wants, just might be that he do not sign record company promotion about being "The old style of Rea", it's just his music done in year 2017 the way he wants.
Endless permutations of basically the same three songs can't be what Chris really wants. Cheap production and uninspired arrangements neither.
The difference between the last albums and records from the past (before 1994 in my opinion) are not just a matter of a different musical direction (and taste) but a matter of quality and songwriting craft.
Someone on another forum said something like Chris lost quality control at some point - and I agree
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