Sun 9th Mar 2008

A couple of recent reviews

Generally very nice ones too, if you overlook the attacks on my choice of hairstyle and my (in)ability to self-promote.

Peter J Brown aka Toxic Pete (

Spekki Chris - CD - Spekki Chris Is In

Judging by his promotion material, the wonderfully named Spekki Chris doesn't go a bundle on self-promotion; his press-pack is low key almost to the point of being self-deprecating - Spekki Chris seems to have a very laid back approach to his music and his musical world. Well, I'm just gonna have to burst his protective bubble coz 'Spekki Chris Is In' is a fine piece of work in every aspect.

Beautifully presented and packaged, 'Spekki Chris Is In' is a quite unusual piece of work; Spekki describes himself 'in five words' as 'smooth, with very sharp edges'. Now that my friends is one perceptive and well thought out piece of writing!! Spekki Chris has summed himself better than I ever could coz this album is exactly that; this is one very clever album that's as smooth as silk but razor sharp in its composition. 'Spekki Chris Is In' is, I suppose, grown-up pop/folk - simple in form but beautifully rounded, well polished and superbly delivered.

Spekki Chris isn't one for 'smackin' yer in the face' with his over-clever or pretentious music - rather, Spekki Chris' music is well considered music that sneaks up on you, cuddles you close and makes you feel warm and safe. This is educated, inoffensive music that yer kids and yer old gran could listen to and enjoy to equal degrees. Now I hope I'm not doing Spekki Chris an injustice with my words but, there's something very homely and satisfying about this album. And, you can almost feel the dedication and attention to detail that's gone into its making - 'Spekki Chris Is In' is just so exquisitely worked!! The 'main man' has taken time to get this right, he's gathered together a band of similarly minded, versatile and soulful musicians to support him with his 'creation' and it's paid off big-style!

Where, or to what genre, does Spekki Chris belong? Who knows!! And who cares!! Suffice to say that Spekki syncopates with mildly jazzy grooves as he gently but sincerely rocks out, his down-home narrative would be appreciated by folksters and he even slips towards the odd country vibe here and there. At its heart 'Spekki Chris Is In' is simply great music and it matters not what genre or sub-genre or sub-sub-genre it purports or tries to be.

'Spekki Chris Is In' by Spekki Chris is rather a pleasant and rewarding change from much of what's goin' on musically at the moment. Given the right sort of promotion (Chris, I suggest you get someone else to do that for you!!), 'Spekki Chris Is In' could actually do very well - I think it would take a little while to gain momentum but once up and running this could prove to be a sturdy workhorse of an album for this very talented and modest singer/songwriter/musician. I love it and I'm sure many of you will love it too!

The Beat Surrender Online Music Magazine
04 Feb 2008

Spekki Chris - Spekki Chris Is In
[four stars]

Spekki Chris is, believe it or not, a guy called Chris who happens to wear glasses. He also doesnít have any hair looking at his MySpace site, but possibly in fear of a Larry David-style backlash for persecuting bald people heís left that detail out of the band's name.

'Spekki Chris Is In' is the debut album from him following on from 2003ís Spin Cycle EP. Not sure why, but looking at the glossy digipack cover I had a feeling it would be my sort of thing and listening to it hasnít changed my opinion on that.

Itís a wonderfully diverse album, with the pace of things constantly changing, but all in keeping with a sense of pop and a delightful twist of harmony. As well as the pace changing you also get a wide variety of instruments used, so on '1 2 3 4' you get a lovely bouncy feel to the track as piano and accordion vie for attention in spectacular fashion.

The album as well as having some upbeat numbers on it, also benefits from some really soulful moments. Car Crash is a prime example of this: a very soulful track that has a jazzy feel to it.