When I put together my year-end list of favorite records, I reference my iTunes library. As each new record is released, I drag it into the 2017 folder, then over time, delete was doesn't interest me. Occasionally, something gets lost, as was the case with "Stop Talking," the brilliant record from Chris Price.
My friend and band mate John Dunbar raved about "Stop Talking," and mentioned specifically, how he thought it was right in my wheelhouse. I trusted him and purchased a vinyl copy. There was no download card, so it never made the iTunes folder. Though I had played "Stop Talking" just about everyday for a few weeks, when it came time to write about the best records of the year, I dropped the ball, as the record just wasn't in my line of sight, and so I am correcting that mistake now.
First, here is what John Dunbar had to say:
This record has been claimed by the PowerPop community--perhaps due to his superb production on the Emitt Rhodes comeback album--but this is so much more than that. Music like this should not be pigeonholed. No song sounds like any other on the album. The only similarity is that they are all sung, written and played brilliantly.
This is all true. At times, "Stop Talking" evokes Harry Nilsson and the aforementioned Emitt Rhodes, but masterfully and seamlessly moves into territory once claimed by Neil Finn, or even McCartney and Rundgren, especailly when Todd was challenging himself in the late 70's and early 80's. Every song on "Stop Talking" is a mini-masterpiece, from the perfectly infectious "Sigh," to the gorgeous and devastating "Father To The Man." Each song has something to offer in a big way. "Pulling Teeth" is another one that leaves me breathless.
Chris Price is a songwriter of the highest order, with an ear for making records and a fantastic voice for harmony. That's my trifecta and I am sorry that I blew it first time around. "Stop Talking" is one of the very best records of 2017, and I couldn't let the year end without saying so.