Chris Mills Kiss It Goodbye

Everyone says so, but you can't avoid it - Chicago country popster Chris Mills is much younger than his voice lets on. At 25, Mills has already issued his third album for Sugar Free, and continues to grow/age at an unbelievable rate. On Kiss It Goodbye, Mills expands beyond the country boundaries of 1998's Every Night Fight For Your Life to a broader range of folk and roots sounds, but not without a flood of pain flowing through every note of his voice. "I'm gonna stick a straight razor in my crooked vein" gives you an idea. Chicago's alt-country elite comes out to play this time, with Kelly Hogan, Jon Langford, Deanna Varagona (Lambchop) and Ryan Hembrey (Pinetop Seven) among the talented crowd. Much of Every Night Fight For Your Life sticks to minimal instrumentation, remaining smaller in scope than this grand effort, where everything from the pedal steel to the snare drum sound bigger and cleaner. "All You Ever Do" is the first track to break up the hoe-down, rocking out like Mills never has, only to be followed by a pair of painful ballads. Yes, Mills does have a sense of humour, but more importantly, he has a continuing fervour to perfect his ever-increasing ability to pen a moving song - Kiss It Goodbye is full of them. (Sugar Hill)