Chris Farren - 'Can't Die' (Album Review)

A lot of people currently know Chris Farren from his oftentimes funny and off-beat promotional tactics. He's gained a lot of notoriety and shout-outs from the indie/punk/emo scene for it. I began listening to Farren, like quite a few people did, when his band Fake Problems were releasing some pretty cool albums. The band kind of took a break and Farren re-surged shortly after with his "The Smiths" shirt and then it felt like he was off to the races and on his way to becoming the toast of the emo/punk/indie scene. I feel like he's been building up to his new album Can't Die in a great way. I started listening to this album with some pretty big expectations.

I saw an interview once where Farren said Bright Eyes was his favorite band (or most influential band...I can't 100% remember). In any case Farren is channeling his inner Oberst on Can't Die when he was at his peak while sprinkling it with the Chris Farren magic and personality that has made him one of the more interesting artists in the indie scene. Can't Die might be his official debut album, but like I mentioned above he's carved out quite a discography from work with his previous band and projects. This album, however, is the culmination of all of those things in the best way. This contains what I think is his best work.

There is a lyrical maturity to these songs and an adventurous vibe to a lot of these songs musically. At times Farren might sound like The Front Bottoms then a second later he throws a beachy, dreamy sounding song like "Still Beating" that has lyrics that are soul searching and somewhat dark themed. Farren can be very introspective, honest, and at times self deprecating. All while presenting the listener with bright and vibrant music. It's the juxtaposition of the lyrics and the music in a song like "Still Beating" that really shows what makes this album special. Can't Die is like a man coming to terms with life and trying to find out where he needs to go to make it to the ultimate understanding of where he needs to be.

"Flowers" has a similar vibe lyrically and it kind of floats along in a dreamy state and then these nice horns pep it up just before the end. "Everything's My Fault" has a Weezer-esque vibe and it has a lot of pep and spirit to it musically. "Human Being" finds Farren delivering a fast, quirky song, that is instantly catchy. It is sure to be a fan favorite. "Until I Can See The Light" sounds like vintage I'm Wide Awake... era Bright Eyes. It's a really great closer to the album. It's also probably my second favorite song on the album right behind "Still Beating".

Overall, I can't deny that as far as indie rock goes Farren has delivered one of the more standout projects of the year. The songs have a realness to them that feels authentic while also just being really well written songs, in general. I like the musical chances he took on the album. I think he sets the vibe nicely and I really like how, at times, the sound and style of the song might contrast the lyrics but he's able to tie it all together nicely and provide the listener with multiple emotional vibes in one song. Check this album out; it's pretty darn good!

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