CD Review: Chris Golden – “Less of Me”

CD Review: Chris Golden – “Less of Me”

LESSOF-ME-CD-COVER-01_d400Less of Me
Produced by Chris Golden
24K Records
www.chrisgolden.net
Format: CD

Tune-O-Meter: Low

Rating: 4 Stars (scale of 1-5 Stars)

SONG TITLES: On The Sunny Banks (Dottie Rambo) – Less of Me (Glen Campbell) – Thank God For Kids (Eddy Futch) – Leaning On The Everlasting Arms (A. Showalter, E. Hoffman) – Show Me The Way To Go (Jeffrey Tweel) – Life’s Railway To Heaven (C. Tillman) – Love Is A Cross (J. Butterworth, R. Hamm, J. Williams)  – What Salvation’s Done For Me (Rusty Golden, Dianne Wilkinson) – Nothing but the Blood of Jesus (Robert Lowery) – I Know Who Holds Tomorrow (Ira Stamphill) – When I Lift Up My Head (Dottie Rambo) – Leaning Reprise

How many SG artists can boast being a member of a gospel group as a teenager, appeared on Hee Haw out of high school, performed in a rock band across Canada, saw country music success with their own group, recorded multiple solo albums, and spent a decade and a half on stage with one of the music industry’s most well-known vocal groups? With such a varied musical career, Chris Golden has returned to where it all began with his latest offering, Less of Me, a collection of songs that have had an impact on the artist over the years.

Golden obviously has retained his country sensibilities with this album, keeping with a straight-forward, easy-listening country sound throughout the project. He also sticks with what he knows – songs that he’s been singing since launching out on a solo journey two years ago. Several songs from The Oak Ridge Boys’ early gospel catalog are featured here, including “On The Sunny Banks,” “When I Lift Up My Head” (both Dottie Rambo classics) and the title track. “Sunny Banks” gets a laid-back shuffle feel, while “Lift Up My Head” is a more uptempo rollicking number. “Less of Me” gets a classic country feel reminiscent of a past recording…

I first heard Glen Campbell’s ‘Less of Me’ sung by The Oaks [with] Smitty Gatlin [on lead]. Glen was a major influence musically and I also credit him for getting me into hairspray. I wanted my hair to look just like his. HA!

Chris also digs back to his own childhood growing up in church with such hymnal classics as “Nothing But The Blood” and “Leaning On The Everlasting Arms.” The former is a soft and tender arrangement that features backing vocals by Golden’s three children, Elizabeth, Rebekah, and Elijah, as well as his father William Lee Golden and long-time singing friend, Greg Gordon, while the latter is a bouncy shuffle that calls back to a more spiritual sound (while also getting a softer reprise at the end of the disc). Keeping with the family, Chris also tackles his dad’s signature song, “Thank God For Kids,” with the elder Golden joining him on the second verse, while third-generation Elizabeth provides harmonies throughout.

Golden also brings in some newer material with “Love Is A Cross” and “What Salvation’s Done For Me,” which was co-written by brother Rusty. .One of my favorite cuts on the album is “Show Me The Way To Go,” which was another Oaks cut from several years back. Chris sings it here with just a piano and vocals, done all in one take, to great effect.

Not content to simply sing these songs, Chris also arranged and produced the project and played the majority of the instruments on it himself, calling in assistance as needed from special guests. Not many artists can pull this off, but for Golden, it just seems to come natural. The arrangements are solid and tight, and the production value is top-notch, with nothing being too overbearing or overly digitized.

While his previous gospel effort, Sunday Shoes, had a bit more variety,  Less of Me seems to have a lot more personal meaning to Golden, as these are songs he’s been singing since stepping out into a solo ministry several years ago. They’re songs he’s comfortable with, and songs that obviously have meaning to him. After such a storied and varied career, Chris Golden is back to his gospel roots, singing “for the One who gave me the gift.”

Overall
4 out of 5

4

Good
4 out of 5
Category CD Reviews, Reviews

Kyle Boreing

Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a musician, producer, arranger, and occasional quartet singer, who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with many different artists. He also really likes movies that are "so bad they're good." Visit his website at www.kyleboreing.com, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.

MusicScribe Comments

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5 Comments

  1. Tad
    Reply August 05, 12:57 #1 Tad

    What was his own country group?




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    • Kyle Boreing
      Reply August 05, 13:05 Kyle Boreing Author

      He and his brother Rusty sang together as “The Goldens,” along with Greg Gordon, John Rich, Don Breland, and Skip Mitchell.




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  2. Mountain Man
    Reply August 10, 08:36 #2 Mountain Man

    Do you know how many albums ‘The Goldens’ released? I know they did one called ‘Rush For Gold’ that came out in the 90’s and have read that they did another one before that. But I’ve never been able to find that one. Just curious if you know.




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    • Kyle Boreing
      Reply August 10, 08:43 Kyle Boreing Author

      There was a self-titled album recorded for CBS records in 1987, which included “Put Us Together Again,” “Sorry Girls,” and early versions of “Rhythm of the River” and “No Pain, No Gain.” I’ve yet to find a copy of it, other than one that a friend made for me years ago.




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  3. Randall Garrett
    Reply October 16, 14:08 #3 Randall Garrett

    With all of his talent and accomplishments he is still one of the best guys you’ll ever meet. He sings from the heart whether he’s in a huge auditorium or a small country church.




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