by Dan O
You work at a job long enough the people who underestimated your abilities fall away. They weren’t meant for the job and moved on or just couldn’t see the angles before the angles saw them. Chris has been through so many cycles of criticism and visibility over more than ten years. That’s why you hear self-referencing of characteristics in him that were underestimated throughout his 2022 masterwork DEATHFAME. ). Been at his job long enough that he hurdled all the “he’s good but…” finger wagging. Instead of feverishly releasing project after project to beg for the world’s attention by filling up bandwidth he poured us a glass of something no one else had. Chris crooned like Kermit The Frog with no idea how to pay alimony on How Could You Love Something Like Me? Stepped to the microphone with intentions to leave it a molten heap on the title track. The range of emotion Chris brings on the solo tracks goes from roaring to fetal position to grateful for the world and support channels he has. Add to that the blistering hand off between Cavalier and Chris on the closer Excuse My Back. The dripping deep blue life conversation between Chris and Navy Blue on So Tired You Can’t Stop Dreaming. DEATHFAME is a map into Chris from all angles. It explains what it means every few songs, I don’t need to hear it front to back to fully taste it. Did I mention Chris just released an EP with Cavalier called Death Tape 1: Black Cottonwood ? I found myself immediately purchasing without worrying if it was good or not. Chris is one of those talents I won’t allow myself to miss a second of. Listening to Broad Daylight and Purple Robes as I type this, I couldn’t be luckier than to have lived in a Quelle Chris timeline.
Did I mention that Lizzo used his beat for Sudden Death and made it into the best song on her album? Now he could win a Grammy. Staring at his name on the nominee list made me think about his year in very specific terms. Quelle Chris is my MVP runner up because this year he went beyond carving out a space beyond carving out a legacy. His 2022 added all the architectural grooves, fine details, style choices that differentiate Chris as a craftsman from anyone ever. It wasn’t about the volume of activity but the potency of an astute peculiar mind we couldn’t manage without.
I could commit many more paragraphs to the importance of AJ Suede but the case was laid out very well by CamoBucketHats and I during a truly dope conversation. See here.