Johnny Chops & the Razors - (Self-titled)

by Kevin Wierzbicki

Chops kicks off his new album with the eerie "Believer," a cut about believing that you can sidestep the pitfalls that the devil lays for you everywhere you turn. Set to a swampy tone highlighted by slide guitar riffs, Chops sings in a manner that perfectly conveys the message that evil is gonna getcha if you're not careful. "Medicine" deals with one such evil by name as lyrics warn of the perils of drug usage while Chops plays guitar parts that sting, maybe metaphorically likened to a needle plunging poison into a vein. Not all is so bleak here though; "Tombstone Flowers" moves to a buoyant rhythm even though the song equates the end of a relationship with death, "Taking a Chance on Me" is a soulful tale of redemption with background vocals from the Gospel Starz and "Gimme Sugar" is a joyous blues that celebrates a woman's sensual delights. Chops proves here to be adept not only at spinning tales but also at writing them; he wrote or co-wrote everything in this fine set with the exception of a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You."

Release date: March 30

Johnny Chops & the Razors - (Self-titled)

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