Hide, Run Away
One Little Indian
BC Camplight is the brainchild of Philadelphia’s Brian Christinzio, a 25-year-old with an appreciation for the classic pop sounds of Burt Bacharach, Todd Rundgren and others. Christinzio isn’t in the league of those masters yet, but Hide, Run Away is strong enough to warrant keeping an eye on this guy. And those paying close attention can also enjoy hearing shades of more contemporary folks like Ben Folds, Ben Kweller and even New Pornographers.
Opener “Couldn’t You Tell” is Bacharach-like pop that floats along on pounding piano and retro synthesizer. The melancholy, easy-going title track brings to mind Folds, even with some rather distractingly cheesy keyboard sounds and a nice touch of Herb Alpert-like trumpet. On “Blood and Peanut Butter,” Christinzio has some of that same sweetly naïve, sad sack in his voice that Kweller does. That tune has a distinctly DIY feel but Christinzio’s compositional abilities are undeniable. He even offers a loping country-tinged number with “Wouldn’t Mind the Sunshine.” But the tour de force pop epic here may be the melodically twisty, very Pornographers-like “Parapaleejo.” Very nice stuff indeed. Like the Pornographers, Christinzio is occasionally joined by a female duet partner, Cynthia Mason, who sounds a tad like Suzanne Vega on tracks like “Richard Dawson.”
Christinzio seems to run out of steam a bit in the second half of the record. “Oranges in Winter” drags on too long, and “If You Think I Don’t Mean It” and “La, La, La” are too dull or sleepy to leave much of an impression.
Still, I’ll be keeping this one on file just in case Christinzio creates a full blown pop classic five or ten years down the road. Based on the strength of Hide, Run Away, it’s a distinct possibility.