|Biography: Chapa... A Los Angeles-based musical collective centered around the songs, stories, and vision of Lou Lewis.
"Every note, phrase, lyric...is wrought with poignancy. You take us there with you, and we can "feel" it as if watching a movie we have now become a part of. You are simply and undeniably ORIGINAL."
Chapa shows have been described as an experience unto themselves, combining soothing mood swings with samples, characters, pots and pans, glasses, cello, oboe, steel guitar, drums, flutes, dancers, saxophones, monologues, guitars, suling, talking drum, radio, etc., etc...
Apart from the greatness in the musicianship that dwells beside the lyrical cleverness, this album is a very worthy addition to the prog-rock and fretboard explorer’s classics table. Chapa is not Roger Water's cousin or Frank Zappa's ex guitarist.. he's Chapa.. and he's brilliant!
Rising up Between is the first track on the album. It is the first introduction to Chapa‘s world of the interpretative rendition of every great sound that ever came out of the listening equipment used throughout his life (thus far). It is also a wonderful glimpse into the astonishing musicianship conveyed in every aspect of each and every strand of the track’s multitracked collective. Only Me on the other hand, is the only track on the album that takes a sway toward the likes of the Bob Dylan backgrounds, scratching the back of The Goo Goo Dolls that are sitting on the vocal chords of Geddy Lee-like sound.
Edna’s Thrill. I’ve honestly never heard hints from the soundtrack to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in amalgamation with a track of this run-amok-like character before. It is the very reason that psychedelic drugs became such a necessity to have around when enjoying the music that the 60s and 70s had to bring us.
Honestly, eclecticism is a wonderful attribute to a track’s portfolio of sound. I can honestly say that I have not had a great deal of exposure to the cello in my day and, as of right now, that level of celloistic ignorance is completely unsatisfactory and must be dealt with as soon as possible.
Masqueraders Downfall is a balancing act that involves smashing guitar playing, broad lyrical expression, and ethnic inflections walking the tight rope that is representative of the flow of the track. Well you wish thee! Pertains to great percussional abilities and, once again, the allure of an excellent handelment of guitar-playing-craftsmanship that binds the track’s separate entities together in an effort to form it’s glossy finish.
From Your Cloud (to mine) may just seem like a short trip to some but it’s not because the ride is so smooth you wish for it to last an eternity so that you can soak it all in. All 3 Faces has a very groovy-like rhythm with harmonies that arise from the dark clouds that adorn the tracks ‘Planet Caravan’ reminiscent guitar riffs.
A Pause in Life is the last track on this album’s send off. It is a representation of how personally expressive Chapa’s lyric style is. He does not hold back in what he means to say but he does seem to care quite deeply about how others perceive and receive it. I guess that’s why they call it “Freedom of Speech” when in this album's case.. it’s freedom of sound.
Elley Wilson - May 29 2006
International Online Magazine