Eric Peters - "Chrome"

So yesterday I surprised myself, got up at 6 (am!) and went for a run.  It was drizzling, not quite raining, and the sun was hesitantly peeking out through the clouds.  As I left my driveway I hit play on Eric Peters' new record, "Chrome".

chrome-cover

I played guitar on this record a good while back (he's been working on it for a little over a year) and had forgotten all but the few tunes I've heard him play live over the past few shows we've done together.  This was a good thing.  I was able to hear the album as a whole, the songs how they were intended, not as how I remembered them.

And this is a fine record.  Easily his best.

Ben Shive produced it, and did a wonderful job framing Eric's tunes with a minimalist's restraint.  Eric could be the killer singer of a great rock band, as I hope will happen soon, (ideally with me on guitar), but here, for the most part, he tells these stories in his inside voice.

There are some pop tunes, jangly and vibrant, but the whole album has a cohesive reserve to it.  Maybe it's the lyrics.  Yeah, it's probably the lyrics.

I think I need a box of these CD's to hand out to people who tell me they want to move to Nashville to start a music career.  Eric spends a good bit of time telling us of his journey, his dreams and the way he's dealt with the realities that he's been faced with.  It's a deeply honest telling, in some places it is pretty dark, and it's that openness that lets you believe the hard-fought freedom that rings throughout.

But there is a huge tension in the record.  It would not be at all surprising if a later record adds another perspective to this one.  It feels like the middle of a journey.  Eric doesn't sing about arriving somewhere, though there are beautiful moments of epiphanies along the way (I Had To Tell You). He's singing about not being there yet.

Listening to this record does for me what I think all good art ought to do; it makes me think about my own story, and to see it from new angles.  I kept having to go back a couple songs, because something he would say would set my mind going and I'd realized I'd missed the last few tracks.

Running through my neighborhood early Sunday morning, feeling envious of the bigger, cooler houses on the more expensive streets, the voice of my friend laid upon me a gentle and loving conviction.  "Chrome" at its heart is a beautiful and heart-wrenching look at what happens when we set our sights on our idols as opposed to our Creator, and its subtle redemptions show there is always another chance to believe what is really true.  At least that's what I got out of it.

Thank you, Eric, for making such a brave and honest record.

Thank you, internet friends, for going to his website and buying it.  You will not be disappointed.