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Craig Payne - Album Review: Face The Music

31 May 2024 // A review by Peter Thornton

Craig Payne sounds like a man who has found his happy place.

The Christchurch-based singer songwriter is back with his fifth studio album Face The Music. It’s another collection of old school rock and roll tracks which has an endearing charm.

They say if you love what you are doing then you’ll never work a day in your life and that seems to apply here.

But it hasn’t all been milk and honey for Payne. In recent years he purged a whole lot of material he deemed to be not good enough, and in 2021 he had to overcome alcohol and depression issues.

It’s good to see him and hear him on the other side of that journey.

Live – the third track on the album and one of the best - references those times and the desire to move forward with its wailing chorus: ‘Don’t be one who takes more than you give, one thing before we die, make sure that we live’.

There are further references to the journey Payne has been on in Always Better Days, where he reflects ‘Good things happen when we least expect it, it never fails to amaze’.

Another highlight comes late in the piece with the multi-layered sound of Follow the Path.

Music has an incredible quality, and it sounds like it has been a cathartic experience producing this album.

It has also been a collaborative one.

Face The Music was produced by Payne under the guidance of brother-in-law Michael Graham who just happened to be in New Zealand for a couple of weeks.

Graham has plenty of experience to call on to help elevate this material to another level. He worked as a chief engineer at The Lodge Studios which has recorded artists like John Legend, Jack Johnson, Eminem and Weezer.

They combine well and Graham helps to capture the rawness and stripped-back-sound that is the inherent appeal of this eclectic 10-track album.

Payne, who spent most of his formative years in the UK, has strong influences from the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Shadows and you can hear flashes of his heroes.

Payne prides himself on his musicianship and there is a nice quality throughout.

He is prolific in his song writing and is always making music. His work on Face The Music is worth a listen.

 

About Craig Payne

For full bio, news, tracks, releases and to sign up for our newsletter please visit www.craigpaynemusic.org




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Craig Payne

Releases

Face The Music
Year: 2024
Type: Album
I'm Not Giving The Game Away
Year: 2021
Type: Album
A Long Time Coming
Year: 2021
Type: Album

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