“[Chapman’s] appealingly leathery, lived-in voice takes a backward glance at a long line of memories … brilliantly and succinctly capturing [his] blend of world-weary toughness and emotional vulnerability.” – NPR Music
“Alongside the album’s end-of-days feel there is also a valedictory mood, the sense that, as with Blackstar and You Want it Darker, here is a man closer to the end than the beginning, haunted by memories and auguries, and communicating something of their uncanny twilight power.” – MOJO (Album of the Month, 4/5 stars)
“8/10 (Lead Review). 50 is a finely tuned piece that surveys the looming thunderclouds of mortality and the biblical gloom of the times, and —quietly, unshowily—transcends both… the downhill trudge of declining years reimagined as a stately victory parade. Vindication here we come.” – Uncut
“Even as it draws on new and old songs, 50 presents a startlingly current and nearly apocalyptic vision of America; it’s an album full of brimstone and brine, perhaps more perfect for this moment in history than we’d like to admit. The riffs sound coiled and compact, as though propelled by some outside source, and the solos rarely announces themselves as such. Somehow the album sounds American, especially on the high-lonesome “That Time of Night” and the haunted “Falling from Grace,” and that suits Chapman’s brusque cadence and seen-it-all voice perfectly.” – Pitchfork
“A meditation on the perseverance of the artistic spirit and the power of collaboration.” – Noisey
January 20th sees the release of Michael Chapman’s 50, produced by Steve Gunn and described by Pitchfork as “a startlingly current and nearly apocalyptic vision of America… an album full of brimstone and brine, perhaps more perfect for this moment in history than we’d like to admit.” Leading into its release, Chapman has shared singles, “That Time of Night,” “Sometimes You Just Drive,” and most recently “Memphis in Winter.” And now, Stereogum presents 50 in its entirety. Listen here, or below.
“This album’s guitar tapestries are mesmerizing, as are the arrangements overall, which is to be expected with this cast of musicians. But what really stands out are Chapman’s finely crafted songs; each one feels like a little universe with many stories waiting on the periphery. The album’s combination of instrumental prowess and songwriting power demonstrates why Chapman has been able to endure so long.” – Stereogum
With 50, Chapman faces mortality with guitar in hand, and endures. It’s the unguarded sound of Orpheus descending, and returning upstream to tell his story. Michael Chapman’s 50 is due out January 20th on Paradise of Bachelors. The deluxe LP package includes tip-on jacket, printed inner sleeve, lyrics, and download card with two bonus tracks; the CD features a gatefold jacket, lyrics, and the two non-LP bonus tracks.
Preorder Michael Chapman’s 50 (Jan. 20, 2017 release date):