Craig Owens "Volume 1"

Craig Owens ‘Volume 1’ Breathes New Emotions Into Old Classics — Album Review

Craig Owens has been the voice of many bands, including Chiodos, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows, and Cinematic Sunrise. His vocals range from the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but don’t forget about the guttural growls and sinister shrieks.

Craig Owens,“Volume 1” brings 11 well-known songs from the artist’s career and gives them an entirely new sound. Owens presents his audience with exactly what they have been asking for by swapping electric guitars and synthesizers for a completely acoustic session.

The album opens with “Cemetary Weather,” a track from the slightly lesser-known project called Isles & Glaciers. Although the original version features three different singers, Owens holds his own, stretching his vocal cords to all the different ranges — making this rendition superior to the previous interpretation.

Craig Owens "Volume 1"

Blending in the acoustic accompaniment, Craig Owens manages to make the song more heartbreaking than ever. Seriously, if someone is working on a reboot of Titanic, this song needs to make the soundtrack.

Moving forward, Owens digs into more familiar territory with “Graveyard Dancing.” While this is a more straightforward cover, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Everything is kept intact and played perfectly on cue. This genuinely feels like a live track minus the roaring crowd.

Owens seems to show great restraint by waiting until the fourth track to cover what is possibly his most popular hit, “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last A  Minute On The Creek.” Setting the guitar aside, the musician pulls up a piano stool and sits there for a phenomenal four minutes and twenty seconds.

The exquisite emotion erupting from Owens’ throat is enough to bring goosebumps to even the most indifferent of listeners. There is no doubt how much this song means to the singer. Simply hearing the musician’s progression over the years speaks volumes to this man’s talent.

I’m not the one that you want, I’ll only let you down. And I’m pretty sure that you’ve caught on.

The standout performances continue until “Intensity In Ten Cities” hits on the sixth track. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong here, it somehow fails to capture the same fervor of the studio version.

Craig Owens "Volume 1"

Something about the still crisp sound of the album “Bone Palace Ballet” feels more authentic. But honestly, if this was the only execution you ever heard, there wouldn’t be any room for complaints.

Owens regains his composure with “Mr. Owl Ate My Metal Worm,” bringing a chugging element to the guitar that seems unfamiliar for an acoustic set. The nearly whiney screams of the original are scrapped for a more rhythmic chorus, allowing the listener to connect with the singer’s ardor at a whole new level.

The biggest surprise on the album is when Craig Owens launches into a song from one of his least popular projects, badXchannels. This band was Owens’ foray into EDM, a far cry from his typical post-hardcore music.

“I Wanna Be Alone” replaces the keyboard and synths with a minimal melody that settles nicely into the background. Owens’ vocals are truly the star of this song, so much to the point that performing this song acapella wouldn’t seem out of the question.

Craig Owens "Volume 1"

“3 AM” closes out the album on a more upbeat tempo. Even though the song is sad as the singer searches for meaning in his one-night stands, he commits to changing in the future.

The pop-punk element is lost here but not missed. If kept intact, the song would have ended the album in an off-kilter moment.

As a whole, “Volume 1” is an entire mood encompassing the emotions of heartbreak and varying degrees of mental health. Craig Owens does a great job of reinventing his music without alienating his fans in the process.

It would have been easy for the artist to throw out a typical greatest hits album spanning his career, but with streaming services like Spotify, nobody would have noticed. Instead, Craig Owens released something his fans couldn’t turn away from — a snapshot of what was, and what is to come.

What is your favorite track on “Volume 1?” Let us know in the comments below.

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Self-proclaimed entertainment guru Charles E Henning fills his free time reading books, watching movies, and listening to music. While not always up on the latest trends, he is always willing to dissect the themes of pop culture.

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