Hollows and Rounds
(Lamp Under a Bushel Music)
“Soothing pop music by Apples in Stereo alum”
“Versus Angels” is a haunting piece of piano mystery with appealing strings of “ahhs” and “oohs,” complete with witty lyrics and towering choruses. This is just the kind of moods and sounds that define the opening of a great spring soundtrack.
Whitejacket is simply the alias of fantastic pop artist and musician Chris McDuffie (Apples in Stereo). His insights and thoughts are expressed in fine fashion in the creation of this record. Alluring, inspirational, nostalgic, Hollows and Rounds is a joyride.
McDuffie is capable of weaving a tapestry of wonderfully jangly guitars with pulsing bass and percussion in a Beach Boys mosaic of melody. Such a band with this scope of creativity is rare and should be savored. The harmonies are stellar, and words complete with themes of “craving the light, holding off the night,” seeking “sweetness” and “filling of one’s thirst,” “sitting by the fire” and “letting the time expire” are poetic portraits so delightfully refreshing. “Single Seagull” is another soothing lullaby played in Beatles fashion, glistening in the midst of gems like the White Album’s “Dear Prudence.” “Fading pictures on the wall” and “girls on the shore” help heal one’s “mess” in life.
More beach music makes the listener want to rush to their vacation vans and head to the ocean for a lovely weekend excursion. Hollows and Rounds is both melodic and instrumentally dynamic, offering a diverse mix of sounds, vocals and textures – a great record to command the majority of one’s car stereo time. “Medinah” feels a little like the latter days of Britain’s famed rock gods, Oasis. The pianos are compelling, balancing out merry trumpets and sizzling guitars. Most likely the star of this record is the complete framework and design put together by McDuffie, giving it its unique character.