CD Review

Chika - "Little Ship Head"

By Dan Century

Little Ship HeadWhen 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.

Contact Information:
Blue Marble Records
Post: P.O. Box 08456 Chicago, IL 60608-0456