Chris Phillips is a singer/songwriter from South Wales who took a break from the music business for over a decade. He has returned after penning and producing his debut album which is available on iTunes. Rather than hide from his influences which include the Beatles, Stone Roses and Oasis, Chris irreverently revels in them. His honest passion rips through this album which is pleasingly less rebellious and attitude laden than expected. Chris has written a number of tunes that downplay bravado in favour of self-discovery and sensitivity but still contain some rocking moments which smack you in the face. The arrangements are lean and mean and put together with craftsmen's ears. I get the feeling Chris Phillips is searching for something more and this is just the beginning. ‘Up In Lights’ We are treated to a strong intro with shades of Syd Barrett’s ‘Lucifer Sam’. The music is laid-back and sparkling, highlighted by some infectious guitar-playing and shifting textures with some vibrant riffing going on. ‘Hand In Hand’ Rocking and twisting guitar with a bit of electro-country in there. Chris takes the jaunty, post-Beatles singles format of the Sixties; brisk pacing, nostalgic hooks, sharp playing and impulsively veers off on unexpected tangents that are challenging without becoming inaccessible. ‘You’ll Be Fine’ The effortless acoustic guitar-playing eases you in at a gentle pace. A nod to ‘Lazy Afternoon’ during certain phases is a nice touch. An intriguing and appealing tune but I would like to hear a raw and unplugged version. ‘The Storm’ Another soft intro, a light dusting of piano brings in acoustic folky overtones. The gentle, reflective rhythms occasionally hint at vulnerability. A gospel choir and the sound of waves provide a dream-like mood. Probably the most easily accessible song on here and could be my favourite track. ‘Shoot Down The Storm’ The crisp, clean vocals with evocative lyrics tell a story against ethereal percussion and heavenly piano sounds. The song allows you to lose yourself without being brought down. This is an under-stated and subtle-shaded production with a delicious ending. ‘Breakdown’ Slightly raising the tempo, Chris puts his heart and soul into his songs; it would be interesting to read the poetical content which is threaded with trembling, sensual and whimsical tenderness. He writes of what he knows and that’s the secret. The heavenly choir return and I’m starting to look around for floating cherubs. ‘Show Me Your Love’ The influences are very evident on this track. Another memorable chorus and Chris is rocking the axe and his ass on this one. He adds something different to each song which presents a welcome surprise and he avoids unnecessary complications. ‘Hey Lady!’ Nice quirky Beatles’ sound. Lovely retro piano which is fun and quirky, it’s a musical doodle that makes me smile and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It has a warm and cosy feeling which isn’t a bad thing at all. ‘The Fear (Running Away)’ This track has the ability to really rock out by the end with earthy percussion kicking in but doesn’t really get going as I want it to. I can hear the Faces’ influence in there. Don’t hear that nearly enough these days. ‘Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Alright’ Classy final track, Chris’ voice really feels the lyrics. His rich guitar solo isn’t too self-indulgent and he finds just the right balance which doesn’t cloud the song. We are offered a modest yet effective ending. I like his style, less is more. If you would like to purchase this Album from iTunes, then please click here.