Christian Farrar – Earney Road Sessions
Christian Farrar – Earney Road Sessions – Album Review
Like clockwork, here he comes…we heard from rapper Christian Farrar in 2014 with the album Kaizen, then in 2016 with Shitty Music You Won’t Understand…and now here we are, two years have passed once again and before the ball drops to start that next New Year’s celebrations, he’s squeezed in a 2018 record to make sure he’s on track time-wise. Gotta be a good guy to be this punctual.
Yet something has changed this time around, hasn’t it Mr. Farrar? I gotta admit, I cracked a smile reading the write-up on his social-media posting regarding Earney Road Sessions and also his previous work; apparently the old shit is truly just that – it’s old and it’s shit – he claims to have ‘never made anything that I actually liked before.’ I smiled because, man do I miss being young. Totally remember saying that in my lifetime. And then saying it again. And again. And again. That’s evolution baby. Eventually you get to an even weirder point known as ‘acceptance’ whereby you realize everything you’ve done & created & been a part of throughout your journey makes you the person you are today. Yadda yadda, insert a whole bunch more insightful wisdoms & new-age BS thinking here as you see fit.
Anyhow. So be it. New chapter for Christian Farrar y’all – let’s see how he does with a record he’s proud of…at least for now…
“I be crying at cartoons – why the fuck the Simpsons make me cry yo?” – I hear ya homie, it happens. “Fear A Sober Me” comes out confirming that, while he might dig this record unlike what he’s made in the past – he’s still fuckin’ weird & has no problem putting that out there into the world, God bless him. He gets right up on his soapbox early like a madman rantin’ at ya as you ride the subway to the next station – Christian comes out with a laundry list of complaints and bizarre vulnerabilities as he opens up the Earney Road Sessions, right off the drop ready to turn your world upside down and let you experience life from his own skewed perspective. It comes along with a fairly scathing feedback-style loop that would crush a person with a headache into the dirt, while he raps with a bold approach to the mic & a hazy flow to go with it. With about a minute left still to roll, he’ll switch it up and let you in on an…intimate conversation of sorts…he’ll light up the electro circuits for a brief five seconds or so before exiting completely, leaving any new listeners to Farrar’s music likely confused beyond words. Personally, I’m like bring it – I can listen to sounds this bone-cutting all day long brother. As for the rest of you – Farrar opens this track up on the offensive while relating these thoughts on his mind – purposely pairing what’s perhaps some of the most insight you’ll get on what’s really goin’ on in his dome in amongst tones & frequencies that are guaranteed to be difficult to get past for many. Guarded much homie? It’s hard to argue that…he’s made sure he’s fully armored-up in sound on “Fear A Sober Me” – but he IS still putting out plenty of real thoughts out there unfiltered into the world – now it’s on YOU and whether or not you can grit your teeth together and take them in while this track plays on.
“Ok Cuck” will confirm that the madman that is Christian Farrar is still just as wild & uncontrolled as he’s ever been…for real…nobody out there makes music like this. He’ll tell ya himself in the write-up on the record at his social media – “I’m a weird person, I like weird things, I make weird things.” True that. At less than 1:45 in length, “Ok Cuck” feels like it rips by…there’s about three main parts of this cut, resulting in what feels more like three separate thirty second cuts strung together, so believe me, this one gets movin’ fast. The flow he actually finds in the first part is pretty damn wild really…again, he’s gonna make you WORK to understand what it is he brings to the music-scene, every single time – even in the shortest of settings like “Ok Cuck” is. Listen to this guy rip into what’s basically high-freak D&B or damn near IDM by the end of this cut once it reaches its third gear. Right from the beginning though, you’ll notice that Farrar records with different textures of all kinds…you can feel these sounds reach out through your speakers to grab your attention…whether it’s the odd samples he’ll toss in, the sound of the vocals, the music, whatever it is…there are added dynamics in the production that always continually make it stand out for how it sounds just as much as whatever words he’s chosen to include.
He celebrates and embraces his strangeness on the Earney Road Sessions, even bringing in some Jim Morrison to haunt the vibes on “Don’t Be So Dramatic” featuring Mayo Staccato. Here’s where things get interesting though…you’ll notice there’s a larger degree of…oooo – dare I say control? Professionalism? Is it the fact that he’s got a guest star on this cut that he’s on his best behavior? Don’t get me wrong – “Don’t Be So Dramatic” still gets more than weird by the end – but there IS a whole ton of universal appeal in the verses spit on this cut as well. Mayo sounds rad in the opening verse…which again, seems to set the standard that is later held up by Farrar as well when he grabs the bars – he’s still having the fun he’s always ready to have, but he is undoubtedly taking parts of this collaborative effort more seriously than you’ll find he does in many other situations when left to his own devices. So they take set of bars each, they both deliver confidently, and once that’s fully complete, then the wildness sets in again and the final minute or so bounces between bizarre audio elements muffling the words of Jim Morrison peeking through the layers to remind you that yes, “People ARE strange,” aren’t they?
Say what you like though…I mean, personally I’ve always appreciated this dude’s strangeness – hell, I think I’m more of a fan of his stuff than even he is at this point after reading his comments online. But for real – you can probably call this guy many things, weird, strange, deranged, whatever – but ultimately, he IS an artist…and you’ve gotta recognize that facts are facts. When you hear a track like “Do You Love Me” – first of all, ask yourself WHO out there is making something like that right now? I’d imagine you’ll probably come up blank for answers – and you’d be correct…this is really his own deal. There’s perspective and uniqueness in what Christian does – and you can hear that on a cut like this; I mean, you can hear it in EVERYTHING he does, but it’s smoother & easier to get to here for most people on “Do You Love Me.” Whether or not he’d try to deny it in retrospect, I don’t know – but…it almost seems as if we get a slight peek at the heart of Farrar here for a second…listen to those words & you might find that this emcee who typically don’t give a fuck about nothing, actually just might give one or two about something. Loved the final switch he makes in this cut…dude does really latch on to some key moments in his music that’ll always keep you interested – no doubts the results will be varied among the people out there, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s got a weirdness worth checking out.
“You’re Sweet My Dear” has the man at his playful best. Recognize the ART people…you can say that he ends up taking things too far – and maybe in many cases, he does, sure – but you simply can’t deny the amount of WORK he’s putting in. “You’re Sweet My Dear” is a whole schizophrenic experience in music that will have you scratching your head wondering WHY just as much as you will be scratchin’ it just to mull over how many moves he’s making on this one track alone. Like DAMN homie! Save some ideas for the rest of us will ya? The way he kicks that opening verse is SICK…I mean, c’mon – when he WANTS to lay it out there plainly, he obviously can…Farrar makes the conscious choice to get weird with it all. As he’ll tell ya himself in the second verse, “I don’t need your validation, these are my babies, my creations, I ain’t never gon’ be on no radio station…” – a statement of which, I’d assume to be true all-around. He doesn’t need our validation – never has, never will. These songs are his babies – and as a father, it’s always up to him on whether or not he lets’em get dropped on their heads or not. They are his creations – and there’s an advantage in all this stuff combined…he’s got full license to ill and do whatever the hell he wants to from beginning to end on any cut. As to whether or not these tracks will make it to radio, of course not – he’s underground AF. Pretty sure he’s okay with all these facts.
He “knows he shouldn’t shit on other artists” – but he ain’t lettin’ that stop him either on “Ecco Homo.” G-eazy gets the wrath here…the ultimate burn really, whereby Christian can’t even bring himself to actually take the time to even spit the words to do it. Can’t say I blame him; there’s just about everything to talk about at all times other than G-eazy as far as my experience goes. Ultimately, “Ecco Homo” has Farrar rappin’ about all kinds of stuff that he sees that’s pissin’ him off or boring the fuck out of him…he just ‘wants to see rainbows and shit.’ Let me say this as clearly as I can to you Christian. If that’s your dream brother…you climb that mountain…you don’t let anything stop you, you don’t let no fools stand in your way – you embrace your greatness and you go SEE THOSE RAINBOWS bruh. Live your best life. I ain’t gonna lie – this guy trips ME right out, and believe me, I’ve been there plenty. “Ecco Homo” is all about gettin’ wild with it in every way…about not giving a fuck or worryin’ about tomorrow – Farrar’s just spittin’ hot fire & fun here…he knows it, I know it, we know it. He makes the argument on “Ecco Homo” that he might just not be stable enough to get a record deal, or that he just might not be that good – he doesn’t really reach a conclusion on that question, he just kind of puts it out there for you to contemplate. Keep drankin’ homie – I can listen to you get weird with it all damn day.
You know, it’s funny…so many of us write from certain perspectives…like, you might choose a character to create a narrative around on a song you create, or sometimes put yourself in it directly with a whole bunch of first-person references, or sometimes you’ll end up speaking or singing right to the people by addressing them personally by name, or just taking it right down to the more generic YOU. But the YOU method can get confusing. I get so many emotions stirred up in me listening to “Wait For The Money Shot” in thinking about all the ways Farrar’s gonna fuck me as he’s describing. Or that is, fuck you. You see, that’s the thing…there’s no names attached here…so I feel like he’s speaking to me directly…but I’d imagine you’ll feel the same. So who’s he fucking then? He’s fucking someone, that’s for sure – have you listened to this track? Who am I talking to? You? Farrar’s fucking so hard on “Wait For The Money Shot” that it’s clearly fucked with my head. Christian goes full Rick Rude waving his pole in the air like he just don’t care throughout this song, lettin’ the tip land on all our chins and poking us in the eye with his lyrics. I just find myself wishing he’d be more direct somehow, you know? Like I’m just not sure what he’s getting at on “Wait For The Money Shot” – is this some seriously clever metaphor for the inherent relationship that exists between the physical realm of the known universe to the existential theories of parallel timelines all functioning at the same warp speed? I mean obviously right? Or it’s about fuckin.’ I’m never quite sure, but I’m fairly confident it’s about one of those two things. All this being said, my confidence level feels like it’s come up a ton after listening to this track – I don’t think I’ve ever had so many compliments or invitations to bang come through my speakers before…I’m feelin’ like a dime-piece right now while I listen to “Wait For The Money Shot.” Thanks Christian! Decidedly different halves of this song, which even features a lower volume recording to the second half, muted in a way, which pulls you in closer to listen…and then that ends up feeling like you’re eavesdroppin’ on someone fuckin. Let’s just say “Wait For The Money Shot” isn’t about your next time you get paid, feel me?
“Save Me Lord” featuring Sha has this collaborative effort preaching the good word in a twisted-trip of a tune that is every bit as much of a psychedelic experience as it might be a religious one…of sorts. Definitely one of my favorite transitions on this record – this shit gets INTENSE as it moves past the three-minute mark for a moment before coming back to the Lord and providing a bit of reprieve for the ol’ soul in a full-blown Gospel explosion before the song finishes off. Sha gets his bars rollin’ hot, keeping the rhythm in-check and delivering the strength in the bars of the verse, while Farrar takes care of the atmosphere with another clever-but-odd combination that he’s notorious for. Dude has an uncanny ability to make music that would so completely fit an acid trip…maybe that’s what I’m missing here is some good ol’ tabs…it’s hard to say. There’s an unreal outside chance that were you to listen to Farrar’s music on LSD that it might make sense all of a sudden – and then what? I don’t think you come back from that trip homies…you’ve been warned. Captivating tune on this record though…”Save Me Lord” actually has quite a bit goin’ on…it’s got tight bars, smart beats, that signature strangeness, but also cohesive threads that people could potentially latch onto with some confidence they can stick with it for a minute or two. Is this redemption for Christian on “Save Me Lord?” It might just be. Killer samples and drama happenin’ all over the middle of “Save Me Lord” and that last switch into the soulful gospel choir was actually a seriously nice touch & way to finish this experience & lead into the next.
“Stop Being Preachy Bro.” Yo. Maybe stop telling me what to do homie, I’m a grown-ass man. For reals tho – this is a solid jam and a killer beat that Farrar’s working with. He raps about people not hearin’ him – but I got you brother, I’m feeling this. I know long before the ninety-second mark that there’s no way in hell that he’ll ever ride out a single idea for a full three-minutes, so I expect the bizarre transitions, I just still never have any idea which way he’ll twist it and neither will you. Do I want more of the beginning of this tune? Fuck, of course, who wouldn’t? Do I think he’d ever give it to us? No, of course not. We get what we get and we should just shut up and like it. So there you have it…that’s Farrar in a nutshell really – he could play everything way straighter if he wanted to, but that’s not what this dude is all about and it probably honestly wouldn’t be nearly challenging enough for him if that was the route he chose. He caters to his bizarreness & desire to include a million ideas per beat…he never commits too hard to any one thing in his music beyond the concept that multiple directions will lead him to where he wants to go, wherever that may be. I’d take a full eight inches minutes of Farrar from the beginning of this cut any day of the week – it’s of course important to acknowledge that it’s Christian at his most ‘straight-ahead’ and you still gotta respect the bizarre art of his normal mechanics & penchant for strangeness…but at that same time, when you do get a break in the clouds that comes across with a more accessible sound, it’s impossible not to notice. Don’t confuse weirdness for laziness people…they are NOT the same thing, not even close. He’s more than capable of competing with the regular rappers rappin’ bars out there – and I’m sure he’d be bored AF by now if he chose to go that route; as different as all this stuff might be to you – these are the kinds of thoughts roaming around and colliding up in Christian’s dome all day long – try and comprehend that for a moment or two.
“Play me something I can fuckin’ bump” – and just like that, at the request of a sample, Farrar launches into “I Wanna Stay Pretty Forever” and keeps this rubbery beat jammin’ pretty cohesively for its full duration, which at this point, is actually strange…normally he’ll throw in that twist or transition that’ll take you from one extreme to the other by the end. Somehow, “I Wanna Stay Pretty Forever” ends up remaining in that first gear until its final ten seconds or so before revealing a different dimension of sound into the mix – for the most part, he’s damn near got himself a radio-cut version of a Farrar tune on the satirical vibes he’s putting out on this cut. If you’re wondering how confident Christian can be when he’s at the mic spittin’ these thoughts of his – believe me, he’s at the max; on “I Wanna Stay Pretty Forever,” he’ll even take on the queen directly by name, singling out Beyonce and her own battles with time & age. He lands his shots with a verbal thumping…which is probably a good thing…if you come at the queen, you best not miss, as they say. At the end of the day, it’s really no less odd than any of the rest, even if Christian is uncharacteristically more static and still on this one idea from the Earney Road Sessions…dude’s bars are strong when he brings out his best – and whether or not we ever fully get or grasp what he’s actually trying to say or why he’s saying what he’s saying…still rad to listen to and stocked full of wild character, charisma, & supremely odd charm. I suppose it’s just my own personal penchant for weirdness…there’s just something about Farrar’s approach & straight-up fearlessness in his creativity & commitment to these strange ideas that always has me cheering this guy on to succeed.
Wrapping it up with the harsh realities on display throughout “Death Is Real” – the homie is spittin’ truths here, no doubt about it. Reminding us that we’re all gonna die, I mean, I can’t say he’s wrong – can you? He’s preaching to the Lord here once again at the end, looking for a bit of redemption or saving to some extent, even if he is in fact, gonna die like the rest of us. He’s actually gone into religion quite a bit throughout this record if you really listen…which you…kind of have to assume probably ain’t exactly the most sincere words he’s writing…but they could be. It’s a tough call. I’m one of those, if you get what that book is trying to say between the lines, then fucking fantastic, you get it – you can swear, you can curse, you can say a whole bunch of the shit that Farrar’s saying right now and it still wouldn’t matter one iota when you reached the pearly gates if your intentions were good. That being said, if he’s really looking to reach out to the lord…maybe being more polite about it would be more of a traditional approach that would yield him the success he’s seeking out in that relationship…which again, begs the question – is that actually what he wants or is he just fucking with us yet again from beginning to end? There really only can be one thing certain about life from the moment we start living it – and that’s that “Death Is Real” – and after experiencing the Earney Road Sessions, it might be the only fact that Farrar has spit that you can be 100% sure of to be fully truthful. The man will keep you guessing, always.
Christian…as always my friend, it’s been an experience & a half. I look forward to 2020 when we’ll no doubt be hearing from you next as you shit on this record you’ve put out here in 2018 and continue to evolve in your own strange way even further. You’re a bizarre dude, but I got lots of love for weirdness…you know that any record of yours is gonna be a tough sell to the masses, nor do you give a shit, which really only makes me dig what you do even more homie. You’re in it for whatever strange reasons you’ve come up with…and I don’t even know if it even matters to me what they are…I just appreciate the fact that there are trippers out there like you that are here on this floating rock to keep us all as oddly entertained as you do. So what if the people do/don’t get it…so what if I even do/don’t get what you do…you just keep doing it brother.
I’ll be spinning one of Christian’s crazy tunes on the next episode of the SBS Podcast coming out soon and spilling a few more thoughts that I’ve got on this musical madman…be sure to tune in for that. Until then – listen to the Earney Road Sessions by Christian Farrar at his bandcamp page here: https://admiralchickenliver.bandcamp.com/releases