The next Bob Dylan won't sound like Bob Dylan. The next Dylan - the next anything - will sound as original as the artists who've inspired him. "Chris Glover" is an original.
Chris can sing, rap and play any instrument he picks up. He writes songs, samples sounds and produces his own tracks. He's making the music he wants to hear.
"I describe my music as a person who has a lot of CD's and records and tapes of different genres of music; who is kind of bored by most music; who goes to listen to something and doesn't find it after going through every CD and makes music that he wants to listen to but can't find."
This music shrugs off ideas about genre: it's not enough of any one thing and too much of everything. The songs bang like hip-hop beats and have melodies as pure as any pop song you've ever heard.
On Hell Isn't Even That Funny, that music extends from the perfect collage of "Stand On Your Seat," with its melodic rap and soaring chorus buttressed by Temptations horns, to the unflaggingly catchy "Something You Already Knew" and the avant beats and pure pop hooks of "Pinocchio." There's also "Nothing's Ever Gonna Change," with it's rapid-fire flow and achingly beautiful breakdown, the sweeping "Never So Far Away" and "Holy Moses," which begins with Chris's own Ladysmith Black Mambazo-inspired five-part harmony, and the delicious downer "We Don't Care."
"The thing that I guess makes my music a little different," Chris says, "is that I take an idea and turn it into a different kind of song than it should be turned into. The melody of Stand On Your Seat could've been a country song, but instead I made it a beat and rapped on it."
This eclecticism is wholly unforced; his blending of styles and sounds never seems self-conscious. In fact, many of his ideas are unconscious: he says, "Usually I get an idea for the melody of the chorus in the middle of the night. I sleep with a tape recorder in my bed. I just wake up, turn over and sing it into the tape recorder. And the next day I listen to it and begin to turn it into a song.
"'We Don't Care,' Stand On Your Seat' and 'Pinocchio' are all examples," he continues, "of just waking up in the middle of the night and singing the chorus into a tape recorder and then figuring out the rest. Other songs, I don't do that. 'Something You Already Knew,' I just sat down at a piano and wrote it. 'Holy Moses' - I don't even know what I did. I didn't even write it; I just pressed record. And then other songs, I just make from the ground up on the computer and then come up with a melody."
These songs are from the "100 or 200" Chris estimates he's written "after a certain time when I started getting good." He figures he wrote a couple hundred before that, just figuring things out. What makes these songs on Hell Isn't Even That Funny different than the rest? "They have a good melody and I worked really hard on making the arrangements and productions really complex and working many, many hours on the lyrics," he explains.
Those lyrics are observational more than personal. "I don't ever write about girls," he says. The words are both tongue-in-cheek and insightful, driven by what Chris sees as people's reluctance to be themselves.
"I'd love it if when I walk out into the street everyone is jumping around yelling like five year olds. That would be my ideal world. If you're not acting like a little kid, I think in a way you're being fake."
It's hard to say where it all started, this crazy creativity born equally of frustration and ambition. You could say that it started when he was ten years old, drawing album covers at a borrowed desk at his mom's work. Or that it started when he sang 3 hours a day in a junior high gospel choir at New York's Professional Performing Arts School. ("That's where I got some soul in my voice," he says.) Or when he was taking a train out to Long Island every weekend for three years to rehearse with a punk band formed with some kids he met at camp. Maybe it started when he lost the singing semi-finals as a 12 year-old on Star Search.
"I lost to a girl who looked like Barbie," he says of his Star Search experience. "She was younger than me but a lot taller and had big hair. I didn't care. I was and still am undeterred by things that happen around me. When something goes wrong, I don't really care."
And then there's the city he grew up in. "Desire and ambition, wanting to be the best -- I think NY did that. Just walking around the streets, seeing a famous person everyday and being like, 'I can do that. It's not so hard.' I see it everyday, people doing what I want to do yeah"
And now, he's doing it.