Release Date: Oct 29, 2012
Record label: Sonic Cathedral
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Cheval Sombre's debut album showed that the poet/musician had a strong ear for overtly Spacemen 3/Sonic Boom-tinged psych-pop, especially in the latter's first solo effort, released as the Spectrum album -- to the point where Pete Kember himself was actually the producer, so perhaps there was little surprise there. Enjoyable as it was, Mad Love finds Cheval Sombre, again working with Kember, in a much stronger place, even as the basic approach stays similar to what happened before. Yet everything feels just that much more "on", for lack of a better term, with more focus and individuality even as "Someplace Else" has the drowsy flow, wheezy keyboards, and more, down to the last note.
Christopher Porpora is a troubled soul. Or at least that's the way it seems. Pouring his heart out via his Cheval Sombre alias on Mad Love, the long-awaited follow-up to 2009's self-titled debut, Porpora veers from one relationship disaster to another. Or at least gives that impression. Calling in ….
Somebody give Christopher Porpora a job writing film scores, quick. The second album from the NYC singer-songwriter and poet should be the soundtrack to a bleak but well-dressed indie-romance flick, the kind that stars Zach Braff doing his glummest face. All 10 songs are about love, sometimes reflecting the good hand-holding bits with warm, fuzzy organ (‘Someplace Else’, ‘I Fell In Love’).
The art of just letting things happen, and the lack of pretension that patience engenders, can be a rare thing among musicians. Its opposite, the motivated drive to 'work hard' seems to be ever popular (consider Alt-J hailing their work ethic following their Mercury win), as if songwriting were solely a case of knuckling down and putting in the hours and graft, perhaps negating any notion of inspiration and creative chaos. Cheval Sombre – a New York dweller by the name of Christopher Porpora – has let the songs come to him.