Chris Wallace / by E

       I wrote a really short tidbit about Chris Wallace the other day, but he deserves to have a more in depth post. He's from a small town in Indiana and says that that small town mentality is the reason he is able to sing so loudly and set such high career goals for himself. He was a guitarist when he began his first band (Quad Four) as a teenager, but then took the role of lead singer and never gave up that spotlight. After establishing his role as a lead singer, he uploaded a song ("Allow Me to Introduce Myself... Mr. Right") to his MySpace page where he was discovered by a music scout. 
       At this point, he left Hebron, Indiana for New York where he became the lead singer of The White Tie Affair. That band was successful, making it onto the Top 20 with their song "Candle (Sick and Tired)" (written by Wallace), as well as touring with Lady Gaga, Secondhand Serenade, Innerpartysystem, and Metro Station, as well as Stereo Skyline and Runner Runner when they went on their first headlining tour. After the success of their first album, Walk This Way, the band's label insisted that the members begin working with the songwriters and producers which the label had chosen, rather than allowing the band to continue making their own music. Wallace wanted to continue making his own music though and announced (in May 2012) that he would be beginning his solo career (the band later announced that they had broken up in June 2012).
       Wallace's solo career has all the possibility of taking off, simply because he has that likability factor and the great stage presence which are so necessary in creating a star; he just draws attention, it's as simple as that. Plus, he is just mature enough that his lyrics will go over the heads of that teenybopper group and he will be able to create a fan base that is composed of, generally, early to late twenty year old's (mostly female, of course, but what else would you expect from an artist like this), and that age group is easier to grow with, musically, than those teenage fans.
       Wallace writes his own music, so it has to be true to him to be created, and honest lyrics from the musician who felt them are better than any lyrics written by a songwriter for another artist (when an artist sings a song they did not write, even if they have felt these emotions, they are still just mimicking someone else's expressions of that feeling). Though this album does sound, superficially, as if it is just another pop/dance album that has been churned out by the big record exec's, when you listen to it, you can hear how truly great the lyrics are (listen to "I'll Be There," "Don't Mind If I Do," or "Keep Me Crazy" [or any song on the album, Push Rewind]). The composition is not just another pop anthem soundtrack either though; when you start to listen to it, you can hear that it has been played around with just enough that it has that electronic signature that is so satisfying to hear (and the sound tones itself down throughout the album, incorporating a lot more piano and back beats than flat out dance beats as it progresses). Also, there is nothing I hate more than when an artist is drowned out by their own music (it makes me think that their voice just is not that good), but even when those beats swell, you can still hear Wallace's voice coming out above them (he makes it obvious that his vocals are good). 
       Even in songs like "Best Mistake" where he sounds like he's slipping a little towards a boy band sound, he pulls himself back into the realm of a great artist by keeping those lyrics pure and following it up with "I'll Be There" and "Time Bomb (Walk Away)" (which is reminiscent of "Keep Me Crazy" because both are really great dance songs, yet the lyrics ring so true that it just becomes a good song on its own, regardless of the dance beats pulsing through the track). "Invincible" may be cheesy, but that does not mean that it cannot be written greatly (and honestly) and make people feel good, and "Hurricane" is just altogether great (get past the dance beats and listen to the lyrics). "Don't Mind If I Do" is this weird, great mix of jazz and dance, while "Ready To Fall" breaks up the pop album with a composition created by piano, strings, and Wallace's clean voice, and "Do It All Again" closes the album by pulling that dance sound back in, put keeping it just low key enough that it's easy to focus on the really great lyrics Wallace so easily manipulates. Of course, there's "Remember When (Push Rewind)", and I may never grow tired of this song; it gets better the more you listen to the song and the more you focus on those lyrics. 
       This guy puts his heart into his music and he's kind of awesome so, if you like him, make sure to share his music and talk him up so that this is not the last you hear from him.
- E
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