Chris Chandler

Convenience Store Troubadours

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What would Phil Ochs be like if he'd been a young man in the '90s, influenced by Jello Biafra and Linton Kwesi Johnson instead of Elvis and Bob Dylan? Probably a lot like Chris Chandler. The New England-based singer/songwriter expands his horizons on his third album, adding a full band to his formerly solo sound but retaining the half-spoken, half-sung style that first brought him to attention.

"Last Thoughts on Elvis Presley," recasting the singer as a symbol of cultural decay, sounds greatly influenced by Greil Marcus' book DEAD ELVIS, but is nonetheless powerful. "Breakfast Serial Killers," which brackets the album in its original version and a cleaned-up radio edit, is more thoughtful than the silly pun of the title would suggest. However, the high point is "Sex," which juxtaposes a thoughtful and cutting analysis of moralistic views of sexuality with a knife-sharp rendition of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It."

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