Of course, his sensual and magnetic vocal turns every cover he makes stellar; but Chris Lanzon’s latest EP Dark Side, produced and written by himself, reveals the intricate soul behind the voice. An exploration of human conditions, the glorious highs and the pensive “dark sides,” the 7-track compilation capsulates a defining moment of the ultra-talented singer’s poignant musical journey.
The twinkling, reflective intro track bursts into the galactic anthem, “FUCK IT UP!” Bright, hopeful and punchy all at once, “FUCK IT UP!” lets the best kind of wishful thinking blossom and flourish. The following track, however, creates a heavy contrast. The rhythmic title track, “Dark Side,” steps back and captures the hopeless romantic sentiment that lives past the reality checks and heartaches, the sober realization of something that’s beyond infatuation.
Lyrically, Dark Side is perhaps not exactly brutally honest, but honest with a lot of hearts. Explosive at the tenderest moments, “June,” released in August last year and the debut single to Dark Side, is a winter storm in the middle of summer. Even with some lyrics that feel too sharp and too close to the heart, Lanzon leaves plenty of mysteries with a poetic chorus: “And I’ll hate all the nights I’ll remember / God, I’ll miss your face in September / We’re only halfway through / If love was a year, then we’re June.” Accompanied by a scenic and immersive music video featuring Eleura, “June” is undoubtedly a highlight of the project.
The intricate production style certainly functions as another highlight of Dark Side. The anthemic moments accentuate the quiet, woody, confessional sparks like the acoustic guitar in “You’ll Find It.” While at core an alternative pop project, Lanzon utilizes plenty of rock and R&B sentiments, as well as unapologetically in-your-face anti-pop production in both “FUCK IT UP!” and “Rollercoaster.” Every sonic decision feels precise and confident, making Dark Side way more confident and deliberate than most in the genre.
A perfect balance of peace and chaos, Dark Side provides an atmospheric escape that transforms space and time. A great sample of what Chris Lanzon is capable of as a songwriter, producer, and performer, Dark Side is relatable, vivid, and limitless. Both the love-fueled anthems and tender, reflective tracks grant solace to the minuscule feelings, the looked-away thoughts. Beyond the viral moments and ex-“The Voice Kids” glamour, Dark Side feels like the tip of an iceberg, while Chris Lanzon defiantly finds a footing regarding his own artistic identity.