Thursday, March 31, 2022

Charlie Freeman Rocks Hard In New Album ‘Love’

Charlie Freeman is becoming a household name, and it’s not hard to understand why based on his newest album ‘Love’. Merging Britpop, ‘70s rock and roll, and classic Americana style, Freeman will have even the most discerning listener tapping their foot.

‘Love’ is, as expected, a deep dive into all aspects of love - from heartbreak and betrayal, to hope and perseverance - Freeman covers all bases. This eleven-song album is energetic and full of optimism. It comes as the world begins to embrace creative industries again and Freeman is sure to be revving his engines to re-enter the live music scene with a bang.

What better way to re-enter after all, than with ‘Love’?

From the first fifteen seconds, it’s clear that the overwhelming tone of this record will be optimism. With a full band sound behind him, Freeman’s well-rounded vocals take listeners through love for the globe, self-love, love for friends, relationships… the list goes on. Songs such as ‘Freedom’ have a more global focus while songs such as ‘Maybe It’s Me’ and ‘Superman’ chronicle more personal narratives.

With a broad topic such as love, it would be easy for Freeman to become bogged down in platitudes however the writing is never lofty. It is grounded and relatable to all, not least of all because the LP covers such a range of subtopics. That being said, imagery is rife keeping listeners from getting bored by the literal. Songs such as ‘London Nights’ or ‘Let There Be Love’ are particularly good examples of this.

Lyricism however is not the only thing that explains the success of this album. The production must be mentioned. It’s hard to imagine rock and roll, Britpop, and Americana mixing with John Mayer-like harmonies, Cranberries-like guitar, and Avril Lavigne-era vocal effects. Freeman has managed it in this record. Perhaps that is part of the beauty of this album; that it blends all of these facets so effectively.

Songs such as ‘Holding On’ and ‘Walk Away’ carry such a strong Americana tone that one can’t help but imagine long road trips, sunny days, and cowboy boots. Meanwhile ‘Get Me Started’ has more of the ‘70s influence Freeman speaks of, creating a sultrier undertone, nodding at times to The Rolling Stones

Freeman’s melodic writing is especially impressive. Certain songs such as ‘Holding On’ or ‘Hey Sister’ have the melody go exactly where the listeners want it to go, adding a sense of ease to the experience. Others, however, such as ‘Falling Down’ and ‘Superman’ have slightly more unexpected melodic progressions. No matter what direction Freeman chooses to take the song, he does it well.

One gets the sense that Freeman has detached himself from genre entirely. While there is a definite current that runs through both his LP and his music more generally, one gets the sense that he has fun with the process of creation. One hears it in the variety of elements included in the tracks, the arrangement, and not least of all the vocals.

Love’ is another excellent feel-good album to add to the roster. 

Chloe Boehm


Image: ‘Love’ Official Album Cover

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