Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings

Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings; C'mon, Accept Your Joy

Not Lame Records has been selling the CDs right out of the back of their website: www.notlame.com since November 2006, when the CD was released.

Christ McKay & The Critical Darlings includes band members:
Chris McKay (vocals, guitar, songs, keyboards); Frank DeFreese (bass); Joe Orr (vocals, guitar); and Josh Couillard (drums).

Based in Athens, Chris McKay and former drummer Tom Bavis started Critical Darlings in 2004. (Bavis co-produced this CD with McKay and played drums on it prior to leaving the band.) McKay invited high school pal Frank DeFreese in as their bassist. As intended, they are perfect college music fare with a fun flare.


Warning, it's all about Chris here. He's very talented, cute, and married (not to me). Everyone thinks he's adorable. And, he knows it's true, but he still is sweet.

Chris McKay has a day job. Well, a night job. He's a great rock photographer, who is known to shoot from any and every crazy-assed angle to get his shots. He's a fantastic photographer whose work is at his own site: www.concertshots.com.

This CD contains some songs from his earlier bands, though Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings has its own unique sound that might remind you a little bit of many different bands. Throughout, I really enjoyed the rock ghee-tar. The lyrics have a fun, super hero feel to them, despite being about something like a quarter-life crisis or just about the human experience.

Towel Cape Song, Music: Frank DeFreese, Chris McKay; Lyrics: Chris McKay


Paraphrasing the lyrics here: Hey, might not want to jump off a building because that's a towel, not a cape. Oh, but you can fly, so it's ok. See, they're super hero lyrics.

I Know Too Much (For My Own Good), Music, Lyrics: Chris McKay There's a monster approaching, if we are prepared we won't win, but we won't disappear. Let's stop talking, and be prepared. More super hero theme in the lyrics!

Into My View, Music, Lyrics: Chris McKay Favorite line: "With my diamond-crusted noose." Ok, so it's not a dog waiting for mommy to come home, even though the Boston Terrier Sami inserts a Boston Terrier named Sami in every story I read her. Is anyone reading this? I think our blog counter is broken. Huh. 

In any case, it's about a man and a woman and some woman from the past. That's all I can tell ya.

Sometimes I'm Sam, Music: Chris McKay, Ainsworth; Lyrics: Chris McKay The music is a little bit country here, and I like it. It's different. Anyway, I don't want to be this Sam: a big-headed, hyper-critical, depressed dude who never leaves the house. But, as it says: Sometimes I'm Sam and it CERTAINLY IS NOT SAMI CORKILL!!!!

Phony, Music: Chris McKay, O'Gorman; Lyrics: Chris McKay

Phony, Music: Chris McKay, O'Gorman; Lyrics: Chris McKay I love the guitar on this. It's lively, loud and great.

Down, Music: Chris McKay, Lyrics: O'Gorman, Chris McKay Begins acoustic, well-matched to suit the topic, and makes a great switch to rock. It's basically about feeling bad from regrets, guilt, shit like that versus happiness.

Colors in Black & White, Music, Lyrics: Chris McKay Another song about stuffing all your feelings inside because otherwise you'll have to say you're really friggin' PO'd that crap is not going your way. That's basically the gist: fighting everything in life and just wanting to feel some happiness. And, then, people are standing there envying your lot in life, not realizing you are wishing you were somewhere or someone else.

Guitar's a little 70s rock and a little 70s kitch, if the 70s can be kitch.

Until The Road Ends, Music, Lyrics: Chris McKay It's the party song: clapping and rock beat. It's a little melancholic in its lyrics, proclaiming "I'm lost" but despite this it's kinda upbeat. It's about the human experience of getting up and trying again everyday; that I'm the only one who can live life for me. Musically, it reminds me of 1980s rock, like Poison.
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Taking Its Toll, Music: Chris McKay, Ainsworth; Lyrics: O'Gorman


This is the only song I don't like, and I think it's because for some reason (only in this song) Chris reminds me of Billy Corrigan. And, I dislike that dudes voice. I can't get beyond that; don't like the way the music blends with Blind Melon voice, either. Huh. Sorry. Still love you guys!



I'll Be Fine, Music: Chris McKay, Frank DeFreese, Tom Bavis; Lyrics: Chris McKay

This line says it all for this song: "Now it's (Autumn) about more than just the losing of the green. The chill, the smell is tied to things I wish I'd never seen." The music reminds me of another song.

About this Article

This article was written by Ra-Ra and is identified as Article #525.
Related website(s): www.chrismckay.net
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