In this day and age, there seems to be a need for nice looking, clean living singer-songwriters in the charts. Indeed, I'd be interested to know what percentage of the UK music market is consumed by women over the age of 40 as I am inclined to believe that they are directly responsible for the grooming of songsters like James Blunt, James Morrison, and the subject of this review, Chris Townsend. Chris's debut CD, Copenhagen, should worm its way into their affections in much the same way as last night's soap opera did. Not that I watch such things, of course…
Chris has a fairly distinctive, yet unobjectionable, voice that follows the style of the current crop of popular male singer-songwriters that seem to own the airwaves. The opening number "Come and Go" stays close to the indie-pop style but does not really stand out from the crowd. "Direction", however, illustrates a more forceful, confident side to Townsend's music yet still seems to lack that edge that makes a performance special.
It is a bit more difficult to outline where his long term appeal might lie. True, the production quality is decent, and Chris's voice is convincing, but the songs themselves do verge towards the safe and unadventurous and you'll probably hear something similar on mainstream radio every other day in months to come.
This album obviously bears a degree of personal worth to Townsend. It has value as such and, depending on how fashionable your musical tastes are, you'll either love it or hate it. Fans of the likes of Snow Patrol might well lap this up without the slightest hint of regret, for example. But, as they say, time will tell and Chris Townsend is still young and has plenty of opportunity to develop a more individual style.