Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chris Montez "Wishes You Love" and "Sunny"-ness

The angelic Rock n' Roll voice of (Ezekiel) Chris Montez jolted me with surprise after having found the record at a local Goodwill. Although I'm a musician that ignores the use of lyrics quite often, I found Chris' words compelling through the tone of his short-ranged but satisfyingly harmonic singing.

Chris began as a Rock n' Roll lead singer in his early 20s, making some early attempts with songs such as "Let's Dance" and "All You Had To Do Was Tell Me," a few hits coming from the Hawthorne-born local. After joining the label A&M in 1965 and after some wisdom and vocal advice from Herb Alpert, Chris began an interest for ballads and drifted from his Rock n' Roll roots in pursuit of a softer sound. His two albums in 1966, The More I See You and Time After Time, are significant from his previous band recordings, marking his transition from Rhythm & Blues into Easy Listening melodies.

Upon my whim of mindless track skipping throughout the album, my insatiable tendency to find that one SPECIAL song had been fulfilled when I dropped the needle on A-Sides track two. The gentle sound and lyrics of "I Wish You Love" serenades a particular woman with over-sentimental thoughts of love, hope and promise, which is a bit "corny on the corncob" but what else can you do about it if you were in love? What intrigues me the most is Chris' soft voice, and the jazzy accompaniment complements Chris' singing as the song is intro-ed with welcoming chimes of the xylophone. Through the track, I'm reminded of a specific scene in the 2002 film Punch Drunk Love, of when Barry (Adam Sandler) is searching for Lena (Emily Watson) in his so-called "business trip" to Hawaii, whereas Shelley Duvall's "He Needs Me" could be easily substituted with the cheeriness of Chris' wishful song. The track after it, "Sunny," seems to follow in a similar formula but under a slightly faster range of BPMs and different key, yet equally satisfying to the entire album.

I hope these two tracks bring "Sunny" and "Wishful" days for all you listeners out there. Enjoy, and have a good day.

[Article drafted on 12/4/2009. Published on 8/19/2010.]


"I Wish You Love"

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