Chris Von Sneidern

  • Chris Von Sneidern
  • Big White Lies (Heyday) 1993 
  • Sight & Sound (Heyday) 1993 
  • Go! (Heyday) 1994 
  • Wood and Wire (Mod Lang) 1996 
  • London Payne (Searching the Muse: Memoirs Across America) (Mastromonia) 1998 
  • 2-cute-2-be-4-gotten (Mastromonia) 2000 
  • Live Start Lifting (Mastromonia) 2000 
  • The Knight of Lines and Proses (Sp. Criminal) 2000 
  • Map of Wyoming
  • Round Trip (Map of Wyoming) 1998  (Innerstate) 1999 
  • Trouble Is (Innerstate) 2000 
  • Transit Survey (self-released) 2001 
  • Spirited
  • Spirited (Japan. Lazy Cat) 1999 

After serving (unrecorded) stints with such Bay Area pop stalwarts as Flying Color and the Sneetches, Syracuse, New York native Chris Von Sneidern unleashed Sight & Sound, the first of his remarkably beautiful pop masterpieces, in 1993. Using his guitar and pen to fashion pretty, Badfinger-esque songs — the desperate “Bad Black Lonesome,” the Merseybeat homage “Annalisa,” the moving, lilting “Life Start Living” and the frightening, Big Star 3rd-like “Never Again, My Love” to name just a few — Von Sneidern imbues the album with unparalleled pop vision and sheer melodic genius. A near-perfect beginning.

Big White Lies is every bit as strong as the debut; the dozen songs include a well-placed cover of Bread’s “Everything I Own” alongside such lovely originals as the summery “Roll On,” the dreamy (natch) “Dream Away” and the slightly more forceful “Hard Again.” Von Sneidern has a definite gift for both songwriting and arranging; unobtrusive little touches include the exotic percussion on the catchy title track and Bryan Higgins’ sweet french horn flourishes (à la the Beatles’ “For No One”) on “Here I Go.” The whole package (purportedly the first to contain interactive CD-ROM liner notes) is an essential pop treasure from one of the most talented auteurs to come along in ages.

[John M. Borack]