Christopher Owens: A New Testament (Turnstile) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-JChristopher Owens

A New Testament


Sep 29, 2014 Christopher Owens Bookmark and Share

Christopher Owens, ex-Girls frontman, has named his record A New Testament despite the fact that it sounds like something you’ve heard hundreds of times before. It’s accessible on a first listen because every trick he has up his sleeve has been in the music trope wheelhouse since the ‘50s or earlier. This isn’t so much a bad record as a boring one.

Each Girls record sounded different from the one preceding it and now so do his solo ones. Gone now is the sunny, beachside manner he nurtured on his earlier records. In its stead, he’s erected a tribute to the kind of music living legends make when they are near retirement. If you want a sampler of what Bob Dylan, Mark Knopfler, and Van Morrison all sound like on their least inspired, latter-day albums, Owens is doing it about 40 years younger than when they did.

This is the sound of a blog and critics’ darling cashing in on his street cred to make an album about as unhip as they come. There are gospel singers, lap steels, and guitar solos/chord progressions as tried and true as putting butter on bread. From the first to last song, this sounds like Owens’ equivalent of Dylan’s Street Legal or Knocked Out Loaded. Girls may have been a fun band, but you need a Highway 61 Revisited in your back pocket to make an album like this and get away with it. (

Author rating: 4/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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