The song-writing talent of Christof is evident to anybody who has listened to his previous EP ‘Honey Tears’. It’s a CD of folk music done in the classic American style that expresses not just the warm tones that genre can evoke at its best, but also a rare awareness of the importance of lyrics and a creative sense towards melody that is as subtle and original as a Motown hit. The songs on ‘Love’s Glory’ continue to showcase Christof’s amazing talent, but it shows the importance of a well thought-out production plan that this is not the end of the story for it.
It’s sad to have to say but this EP is at its most enjoyable in its first 76 seconds. For that length of time it could just be the continuation of the previous EP, where the tenderness and emotion in Christof’s voice and the gentle melodies of the guitar are hypnotic and engaging. But then like being woken up from a pleasant dream by a jackhammer outside your bedroom window come the drums with their tyrannical presence, and they don’t let up for the rest of the EP.
The necessity of the drums has been an unfortunate assumption that producers at large seem to have accepted as fact. Before John Bonham’s monster drumming for Led Zeppelin the drummer’s role was to actually service the song rather than bomb the crap out of it. A modern ear can barely hear the drums on albums like ‘Moondance’ or ‘Songs In The Key of Life’ because they’re placed behind the voice and the music, but here Christof’s brilliantly emotive voice and subtle melodies are drowned out.
Questionable production is not new to the world of folk music; even the best Simon & Garfunkel songs shone through the production booth’s leanings towards commercialism, and whatever about the actual recordings on the EP, when you end up singing the three songs here in your head all day you can put whatever instruments you like on them. Carousel in particular has a chorus that is fiendishly unforgettable in its simple waltzing repetition of the lines “up, and down, I go up, and down…” but the intangible brilliance of the eponymous track, its confident sense of mood and tone, make it the stand-out on an EP of stand-outs.
It is a fierce talent this man possesses and several YouTube clips of these songs in stripped down form are the testament to this fact – a fact that this recording doesn’t quite manage to get across. The word “song-smith” comes to mind when thinking the song-writing of Christof, and of all the crafts it is that of the glassmaker that best approximates what he does with words and melody – moulding something that is both fragile and beautiful when left alone, but can be easily shattered when mistreated.