Michael Chapman '50' LP
BEAR TREE ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2017 #37
After five decades of recording and touring, veteran British songwriter and guitar sage Michael Chapman has finally made what he calls his “American record,” and the aptly titled 50 now stands as his late career masterwork, a moving legacy statement by a legend. Backed by a collaborative group of friends and acolytes—Steve Gunn (who also produced), Nathan Bowles (Pelt), James Elkington (Jeff Tweedy), Jason Meagher (No-Neck Blues Band), Jimy SeiTang (Rhyton), and fellow UK songwriting luminary Bridget St John—Chapman tears into both bold renderings of new songs and radical reinterpretations of material from his revered catalog, the crack band adeptly scaling the same rarefied sonic heights of classic Harvest albums like Fully Qualified Survivor, guided by a true survivor’s instinct, wit, and wisdom. The result is a sublime chiaroscuro self-portrait, more shadow than light, as an invigorated Chapman wrestles with weighty themes of travel, memory, mortality, and redemption, his world-weary whispers assuming the incandescent power of prophecy.
The deluxe LP package includes tip-on jacket, printed inner sleeve, lyrics, and download card with two bonus tracks; the CD features a gatefold jacket, lyrics, and two non-LP bonus tracks.
A1. "A Spanish Incident (Ramón & Durango)" 5:05 A2. "Sometimes You Just Drive" 4:41 A3. "The Mallard" 5:45 A4. "Memphis in Winter" 6:50
B1. "The Prospector" 6:39 B2. "Falling from Grace" 6:32 B3. "Money Trouble" 4:33 B4. "That Time of Night" 6:11
1. "Rosh Pina" 5:07 (digital bonus track) 2. "Navigation" 5:14 (digital bonus track)
Catalogue number: POB029LP
Label: Paradise of Bachelors