California Wives: Art History
California Wives: Art History -Everyone says not to judge a book by its cover, and it is equally as difficult to not judge an album by its title. But in the case of California Wives’ debut album, Art History, assume away. The first thing that comes to my mind is the art history class I took in college, and with that I become nostalgic for other college memories and end up wandering down an endless road of memories of the life that seems like so long ago. This perfectly coincides with the prevalent themes of this album: the delicate process of growing up and with that losing one’s youth and ultimately changing for the better. Not only do California Wives elicit feelings that have long since been forgotten, but they hold a special place in my heart being part of the Chicago scene that I love so much.
Joe O’Connor on drums, Jayson Kramer singing lead vocals, guitar, and the keyboard, Dan Zima on bass and backup vocals, and Graham Masell on guitar and vocals have created an enigma. The routinely generic and blase interpretations and notions of growing up by so many other bands these days have become so commonplace it is impossible to lose yourself in the music. You find yourself stuck endlessly bobbing your head to music you don’t even care about. But, Art History is propitious, initiating a different world; making it possible to let the music permeate into your soul and actually create a wistful place to reminisce about the hopes and fears you once had, or for that matter, still have.
Art History is filled with the painful sting of regret, traverse nostalgia, and fierce hope; combined with such addictive choruses you feel as if you are watching a John Hughes classic from the eighties that Jayson Kramer’s voice brings to life. Beginning with ‘Blood Red Youth,’ also the first single and continues in a meticulous ebb and flow so thoughtfully blended together it is almost hard to tell when one song ends and another begins. Must listen to songs include ‘Twenty Three’ and ‘Light Year.’…8.9/10