We all have stories to tell, and some artists just have a knack for putting those stories to song. Be it heartbreak, personal tragedy, witnessing history or well, yearning for the life of a cowboy, singer/songwriters have a way with melody and rhythm. Chris St. John is a rare talent with the ability to sculpt a song that can make you feel unbridled hope, or just make you smile. His debut album I’m Dreaming is a culmination of his life’s thoughts, as well as some extra tidbits. A man that has been a lawyer by day, can now proudly call himself an artist. I’m Dreaming is an impressive debut.
When you’re not looking, St. John makes it easy to realize his dreams and his ambitions are pretty universal. He has a way with words, but he also has a voice that borders between satin and pristine. He sounds like he’s a blast from the past, a folk singer from yesteryear. Still, his songs have a modern element.
In “You Sang to Me” St. John sings about the time he was in a medically-induced coma. The song has sounds that would come from a hospital ER. It’s a mysterious beginning, with the beep-beep-beep and the murmured inferences. “You Sang To Me” becomes clearer as the song moves along, with St. John proving that he can tell a story from a personal perspective. You did not know me, he sings. I loved the nuances of this song and it’s near clandestine tone. If you were a country fan or folk genre adorer you might call St. John a balladeer. I think it’s songs like “I Need a Horse” and “You Sang To Me” that solidify this description.
A few other tracks that really stood out are “Pacific Sunrise”, a magnetic instrumental and the bittersweet “Dreams Are Free”. I believe that “Dreams Are Free” is about the devastating Space shuttle Challenger fatal accident in 1986. St. John, who worked as an attorney and congressional aide, might have had a front seat to this historical moment. He was working with the Reagan Administration in 1987, and while he doesn’t state the Challenger in his press materials, I inferred that this horrific event would be impressionable. The sun will rise, the sun will set, your smiling face, I won’t forget, St. John sings. His lovely voice is so respectful and honest. I think this song could also be about anyone reaching for their dreams and maybe enduring tragedy. St. John’s joy is contagious and this song lingered with me for hours. I kept returning to it.
I also really liked “I Called You Rose”. This also happens to be the lead single. It’s a great choice. It’s a perfect blend of coffeehouse intimacy and an endearing voice. St. John sings, you made me happy ‘till you made me cry….time for choosing, I chose my best life. St. John really has chosen his best life. I’m Dreaming is one of the best debut albums that I can recall. This is an indie artist to watch.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.