CD comes with a deluxe 10 page color booklet including the complete lyrics. Charles Theodore is the son of French and American art historian gypsies. He spent his childhood traveling, wandering through old churches and looking at paintings. From Providence, to Santa Monica to Chicago to Boston, going to the local school in a tiny French town with more cows than people, to living in the carnival that is New York City, his bicoastal, trans-Atlantic upbringing has influenced his songwriting as much as his musical heroes have. Graduating from Harvard University, or playing for a year in the New York subways, his rich life experience, and a desire to dig down to the heart of the song is central to his work. PRE-RELEASE REVIEW OF A SUITCASE LIFE BY A.A.A.(A wr. For The Guardian, NY,NY) 'Charles Zerner is a very well-rounded young man. Combining intimate folk rock ramblings, choruses that wouldn't sound out of place on Top 40 radio, Spanish inspired guitar fills and noticeably rhythmic bass and drum sections, his songwriting draws from a multitude of influences. Fortunately, this diversity sounds neither gimmicky nor gratuitously eclectic, and he succeeds in this ambitious endeavor because of his genuine, consistent honesty. Jetlagged longing, lost loves and moments of displaced loneliness are revisited track by track, memorable and every bit as fresh as they once must have felt. Still, Zerner never compromises his upfront lyrics for rhythm, catchy bittersweet melodies and an intricately arranged acoustic pop-rock sound; the album is a sincere and well-thought-out commentary on a twenty-something's life, not a sentimental confessional about what went wrong. Zerner's songs range from straightforward guitar-based pieces to more complex and layered arrangements complete with soaring, playful synthesizers and perfectly timed bass lines. His voice is strongest when stripped bare, as heard on 'Broke St Lullaby' and 'You Were Right the First Time'; more layered vocal sections lose their sweetness and verge on generic, especially when he speaks/raps rather than sings. The production on the instruments, however, is irreproachably poppy - unusual for such an upfront record so strongly influenced by bare-bones folk rock. This smoothness works well more often than not and accentuates the care with which the songs were written: there isn't a sloppy moment on the whole record. [...] Weathered cynicism atop a lingering innocence characterizes the mood of the record - jaded, but still young and unwilling to give up on hope. A genuine sincerity ties the songs together, though never at the detriment of professionalism, originality, and technical skill. Combined with a talent to comment on, rather than fall into, cliché, and a heart-wrenching set of melodies that stick long after the songs end, Zerner has made a thoroughly meaningful and sensitive record.'
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