Cute and quirky piano-led pop...
BC Camplight is in fact a creation from the mind of twenty-five year old American songwriter Brian Christinzio. Not one to aim low, Christinzio set out with his debut album 'Hide, Run Away' on a mission to make "a perfect pop record", meticulously orchestrating, composing and arranging every note of the record himself (except the drums, but jokes that if he could have done, he would have happily undertaken that duty too!) Taking his inspiration from composers such as George Gerschwin, Burt Bacharach and Todd Rundgren, Christinzio professes 'Hide, Run Away' to be "a pop album with soul".
'Counldn't You Tell' opens the album, introducing you to the first of eleven piano-led, head-bobbing pop tracks, each exploiting Christinzio's sweet and seemingly effortless vocals, and self-consciously dated sound. 'Blood and Peanut Butter' incorporates some interesting female vocals and catchy synth rhythms, before slipping into the slow sway of the comical 'Emily's Dead To Me', while the title track, 'Hide, Run Away' returns to more undulating piano and gentle brass. Despite starting slowly, 'Wouldn't Mind the Sunshine' is the album's first real standout track, as it bursts into a poignant and powerfully touching chorus, only to be followed by the sunshiney, slightly twisted stomp of 'Parapaleejo', with it's twinkling xylophones and more bouncing piano.
Equally, 'Oranges In Winter' also shines, with its instantly familiar sounding melody, gentle whine, glistening bells and subtle dance beats, while the brief but beautiful 'If You Think I Don't Mean It' catches your attention with a simple mix of vocals and acoustic guitar that lends itself perfectly to this pretty and heart-felt song without losing any of Christinzio's slightly awkward, kooky charm.
It all sounds good so far, right? But from the man-eating giant squirrel on the album's front cover, to off-kilter song titles like 'Blood and Peanut Butter', there's something about 'Hide, Run Away' that feels as if Christinzio is trying just a little too hard to be quirky, and while you can't help getting caught up in the gentle sway of many of the songs as you're listening, for the large part they just aren't powerful enough to stay with you for very long. Perhaps you either 'get' BC Camplight or you don't, or perhaps you should just take it for what it is: cute, quirky pop. Either way, fans of composers such as Burt Bacharach or George Gerschwin are sure to find at least a few gems on 'Hide, Ride Away'.