Chika - "Little Ship Head"
By Dan Century
When I review albums for Legends I don't
spend too much time analyzing lyrics. I usually give a disk two or three
listens and then go with my gut feeling. The other day while I was waiting for
my C: drive to defrag, I read the lyrics to Little Ship Head by Chika.
Frankly, I was stunned - what I was reading was clever poetry, honest sentiment
and powerful story telling. When was the last time you heard a song tell a
story? Modern music, for the most part, has lost the story telling tradition
which was once the foundation, drive and purpose of blues, country and folk
music. Chika, thankfully, has not lost the story telling tradition.
The songs on this disc are about as real and from the heart
as you're going to find anywhere. Some songs are purely delightful, like
C-street Angel, a moment of beauty in a city child's life, and others
are punch-to-the-jaw powerful like Becky Bell, the story of a teen
facing an abortion, alone and desperate. Couldn't Ask For More, the
first track, is a playfully sarcastic look a life's banality, revealing Chika's
humorous side. Something to Amaze Me, my favorite track, questions
relationships when people stick around waiting for their lover to make some
change that never comes. From the Silence, another great song,
challenges the silencing of an artist and ponders what could have been: "Was
the message lost or was it heard? Was it lost?"
Chika's storytelling is framed by flawless musicianship and
production. Her music is part pop, folk and country. Soothing guitars,
percussion and jazzy keys frame her gorgeous voice and poetic message well. The
production is clean and cleaver, but never gimmicky.
The music I usually listen to (and review for Legends) is
usually more kinetic, manic or dark, but Chika's softer tones are a refreshing
and cerebral break from my CD collection and most of the music on the radio. If
you like gentle pop guitars, a gorgeous female voice and honest, down to earth
lyrics give Chika a listen.
Blue Marble Records
Post: P.O. Box 08456 Chicago, IL 60608-0456