Chris Stills

When the Pain Dies Down: Live in Paris

by Dan Raper

7 September 2006

 

Oh, for some MOR singer-songwriter fare. Drained of the stadium-ready soar of a Coldplay or a Keane, Chris Stills’s warbling is so inoffensive you can hardly tell it’s alive. This live disc is no great discredit to the performer’s talent –- his voice sounds, mostly, smooth as on the studio recordings; but the songs fail to excite, a strange alternation between easy listening with faintly Paul Simon harmonies (as on “Landslide”), and faux-chansons, Stills’s nasal French accent grating (“Demon”). “Story of a Dying Man” is characteristic: the melody’s not quite soaring enough to completely take hold, and the conceit a shallow exposition of love. But it only really gets laughable on the last song, “Fanny”, the only studio recording on the disc: it’s “The Weight” by the Band, lyrics in French. He’s become the nightmare of your favourite singer-songwriter, what you always half-feared he’d degenerate into—no longer any insight, only sentimentality.

When the Pain Dies Down: Live in Paris

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article