Chi takes a mix of influences which are a blend of rock, blues, folk, roots and gospel which give hints of Tom Petty and the Grateful Dead’s broad approach to American music. The songs are written, produced and recorded by Chi, other than his version of The Battle is Over (But the War Goes On) (a song previously associated with Levon Helm) and they tell of his upbringing and journey. Killer from Our Hometown is about s a man who went from school bully to something far more sinister and is delivered with a strong vocal backing that helps set a brooding tone for the tale. The title song has a more bluesy approach and it highlights Chi’s rounded vocal which is written with enough space to let the music flow.
One More Shot at the Light builds slowly, with the band coming in and with organ and vocals adding much to a gospel feel which enhances the title. Alvarado has a longing for other places, since left, with a sensitive vocal that is in keeping with a longing for this missed place. Throughout, the band gives an accomplished performance that can move from a mid-tempo rocker to something more subtle. The writing shows thought and variation that balances well between lighter and darker themes. While it is not overtly roots sounding, it tends towards that end of the spectrum. The closing song The End of the Road has some fine slide guitar and closes the album in a nice soulful, sweeping mode that underlines the overall quality of Chi’s music.