Born on a Breeze
Chadwick Station's sophomore effort is decidedly different from their debut EP. The range is much wider. It hits the ground running with Cryin' (Ain't Gonna Win Her Back). It's pure '60s R&B. "It's what we called shore music back in England," lead singer Alvis Kensington said. "They call it beach music in the Carolinas. Dirty horns, contagious dance beat." The song pays tribute to some influences like Tyrone Davis with the line "If you could turn back the hands of time" and Mel & Tim with the line "If you were starting all over again." It captures that soul era of American music when there was so much emotion oozing from the radio.
Cryin' is light and lively, and then the album suddenly segues right into the deep and pensive Anybody Home that's more reminiscent of Queen. "Yeah, I can see a little Bohemian Rhapsody in there," Kensington said. "Not sure exactly where that one came from. I woke up from a dream with the first line and tune in my head. I ran to my studio and laid it down so I wouldn't forget it." It's the story of a grown man returning to his home town for the first time in decades. Everything's different, but at the same time, it's all still the same. He realizes what a large part that little town played in his life.
Born on a Breeze is the title song. It's got that "old soul" feel with the horns and a killer trumpet solo. It's about rising above all the pettiness of the world and looking back down on it without a care. "People were trying to pull me in all sorts of directions," Kensington said. "They were trying to take me places I didn't want to go. You know what? How about no? How about I float above it all and let you worry about the things that don't really matter."
Ordinary Girl is Kensington's magnum opus. He took that song to a couple of different studios looking for just the right sound. He finally relied on veteran producer Bill Cuomo to mix it. Cuomo co-wrote Oh Sherrie with Steve Perry and is responsible for some of pop music's most memorable opens, like Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes and Can't Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon. Like the rest of the album, the song was then shipped off to Abbey Road for mastering. "It's about a bloke caught between two domineering women," Kensington explained. "One convinces him to simply say no to the first, then turns out to be even worse than the one he just left, poor fellow. As he says, he jumps from the frying pan into the fire." The mood and tempo changes of Ordinary Girl make it an extrordinary track.
If you've ever pined for someone while they pined for someone else you'll be able to relate to She. "It was so bloody obvious," Kensington said of the girl he wrote this one about. "She was gaga over this boy who had no idea she even existed. I tried to tell her. Of course, she'd never listen." And what happened to that girl? "As it turns out, there was another girl who fancied me who I hardly paid any attention to. Turns out she was far more reliable and tons more fun."
Which leads to the next track on the album. In British parlance, when something or someone is solid and dependable they're referred to as copper-bottomed. "I believe the term came from the practice of coating the hulls of ships with copper to make them more seaworthy," Kensington said. "I saw an ad for the movie The Iron Lady and thought to myself, 'She was quite the copper-bottomed PM,' and the metal references began clanging around in my head."
There's a Girl is a throwback to the beach party movies of the '60s. It's 100 percent fun and positive. "The copper-bottomed girl and this girl are the same girl," Kensington confessed. "She's the kind you think of all day and can't wait to hang out with." The band even brought back the hand-clapping of the era, along with the '60s surf guitar. "It's just a fun track," Kensington said. "Can't help but think that Annette is looking down on this one and smiling."