Chris Root – ‘Wind Made of Kisses’ album review

Chris Root, formerly of Mosquitos (Bar/None Records) releases ‘Wind Made of Kisses‘ via Team Love Records on 9 May. With a focus on pop hooks, love stories and dark secrets, the album promises to reward you on repeated listens.

A burst of ’60s rock & roll guitar opens ‘Blow It Up With Love’, a song that finds Chris singing about the mixed feelings that love can bring about. He opens the song singing ‘our love was like a star, it burned from here to infinity’ before wistfully admitting ‘then it grew up’. He then goes back to the schmaltzy side by declaring ‘let’s make love’ and ‘let’s turn it into blue birds, turn it into daisies’. The album veers into a sound that resembles The Cure’s lighter moments on ‘Wind Made of Kisses’, a song that combines melodic, baroque moments with Super Furry Animals-style psych-pop – and bar room chatter in the background as Chris delivers a message: ‘You’ve gotta get up and fly away’.

‘The Ocean’ is, appropriately enough, an ode to the deep (Chris mentions how it is ‘home for millions and trillions of folks who don’t look like me or you’) and a rally against the way we are treating it: ‘The ocean’s a beautiful place, please don’t fuck up it for the fish, that’s our only wish. We’ve been fucking with it for so long’. ‘Dude Jumped Out the Window’ opens with glacial Grandaddy vibes as Chris recalls the story of a man who appeared to take his own life: ‘He must have been in so much pain when he jumped and even more when he hit the car’.

There are New Romantic vibes running through ‘Love by 1000 Cuts’ while ‘I Miss My Cat’ is a personal tribute to a feline friend whose ‘teeth are sharp and shiny’. There’s purring in the background but Chris’s love doesn’t appear to be reciprocated as he sadly admits the cat ‘walks away. She don’t want me no more’. There’s a Sufjan-esque fragility in the vocals on ‘Wonder’ as Chris wonders aloud how it would feel to have the ‘perfect’ body (‘I’ll never know but I can wonder’) with ‘perfect hips’ and perfect lips’ and asks how it would feel to wear a bikini to the beach.

‘Summer’s Almost Over’ is bursting with toe-tapping disco beats and a slightly bittersweet tone as Chris prepares for the end of summer – and potentially the romance that came with it: ‘Why don’t you come over and dance with me?’; ‘Summer’s almost over, we’re in love’. The closing ‘Put Your Feet in My Hands’ is filled with discussion about the birds and bees and is an unashamedly passionate love song: ‘Put your feet in my hands and you don’t have to worry anymore’.

‘Wind Made of Kisses’ is an album full of notalgia and potent pop hooks that will make you want to give Chris Root – and everyone else in the immediate vicinity – a big hug.

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