The Great Make Believer

by Chris Robley

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about

"Chris Robley is at the top of his game with his new work." - KCRW

"Beatlesy goodness featuring deft wordplay delivered through McCartneyish melodies with a Lennonesque rasp... What a welcome return." - Willamette Week

"This is one of those albums that will undoubtedly hold up well over time.” - babysue


With his 5th album THE GREAT MAKE BELIEVER, award-winning poet and songwriter Chris Robley breaks five years of musical silence with a collection of raw, indie-pop and Americana songs for guilty-hearted heartbreakers.

The production is a departure from the densely layered arrangements of Robley's past albums, and THE GREAT MAKE BELIEVER was recorded mostly live in the living room of a seaside house in Oregon.

credits

released March 11, 2016

All songs performed and arranged by:

Anders Bergstrom – drums
Paul Brainard – pedal steel
Bob Dunham – electric guitar
Naomi Hooley - vocals
Arthur Parker – bass
Chris Robley – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano and keyboards
Rob Stroup – vocals and percussion

All songs written by Chris Robley
© 2016 Bite My Tongue Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Cutthroat Pop Records 01-017
www.chrisrobley.com

Recorded by Rob Stroup at the Salt Works (Seaside, OR) and 8 Ball Studio (Portland, OR)
Mixed by Rob Stroup at KBC Records (Portland, OR)
Mastered by Jeff Stuart Saltzman at Mysterious Beard (Portland, OR)

Album cover design by Chicken 3000.

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about

Chris Robley & the Fear of Heights Portland, Oregon

"Chris Robley is at the top of his game with his new work." - KCRW

Maine-based singer/songwriter and award-winning poet Chris Robley (formerly from Portland, Oregon) performs orchestral indie-pop and fractured folk reminiscent of John Lennon, John Vanderslice, Harry Nilsson, and Joe Henry.

His poetry has appeared in POETRY Magazine, Prairie Schooner, and many other journals.
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Track Name: Eden
If you can imagine a boy
Who imagines a girl
And they both know how to perfectly love
In their imaginary world
Then imagine a man
And pretend that he’s me
Though I know that there’s no perfect love
And that nothing is meant to be
I watched you walk through the gates like it’s fate
Not a minute too see or a minute too late
Expelled for our sins
Now our love can begin

And there’s so many things
I’ve been wanting to say
To the ones that we both left behind in the garden
And the ones God sent away
But they can’t understand
They won’t forgive or agree
With how we both chose in our limited time to believe
In an improbability
But I know that nothing that lasts can be great
Without a couple of flaws and a few bad mistakes
And I’d make them again
So our love can begin

And if this imaginary world
Is like heaven on earth
I think that people would be just as bad to each other
‘cause we wouldn’t know what it’s worth
If it wasn’t so fiercely fought
If it wasn’t so wickedly won
I think that we would forget all the prices we’d paid
And why the battle had even begun
But I know that this love has been worth the wait
We’re both a little bit crooked and a little bit straight
But I’m willing to bend in the end
So our love can begin

Now that we’ve both been set free to create
Some kind of imperfect paradise
With this clean slate
Then please come take my hand
And my love, let’s begin
Track Name: Anonymous
I crowded out your better nature
I couldn’t outright break your heart
I couldn’t leave you or forsake you
So I waited till you fell apart

But now that I’m on your side again
Do you think we can still be friends
Now that we’ve made amends
Do you remember when you were mine
Maybe love doesn’t have to end sometimes

I wanna go where I’m anonymous
Where no one that we know will call upon us and
Goodbye and hello are synonymous
Well I wanna go there, I wanna go there
Track Name: 1973
I knew your mother
She knew me too
We danced in a Brooklyn bar back in 1972
And when the DJ played Ma Belle Amie
I took her home and woke up alone
And you were born in ‘73

But if you were me
Then you would see
Why I just had to let things be
I couldn’t go on singing a song
Knowing the words were wrong

I knew your mother
She knew me too
Not very well as you can probably tell
But that’s the tale of how we made you
We danced in a Brooklyn bar back in 1972
Track Name: Evangeline
I count the walls
I’m counting sheep
I’m counting on the pills to get me back to sleep
‘cause that tired voice is on repeat
I hear it speak the vows I spoke but couldn’t keep
And when it’s late I say your name
The old familiar song’s refrain, Evangeline
Could you forgive a man who finally broke you in the places
Where you always seemed to bend
While I’m still awake on my side of the silence we both must endure
And you’re only there when I dream
But I can’t fall asleep anymore

So I leave the TV on at night
It’s nice to hear the voices and I like the light
Oh come what may and come what might
From all that might’ve been and what I can’t rewrite
And on and on with what remains
Of bitter ends but all the same, Evangeline
I’ll always wish the best for you
I hope you know I hope that every wish you make comes true
While I’m still awake on my side of the silence we both must endure
And you’re only there when I dream
But I can’t fall asleep anymore

I can’t sleep at all anymore
The water’s deep but I’m stuck on the shore
Sometimes all my best intentions leave me at my worst
I went and wished upon a star that’s falling in reverse
Track Name: Mission Bells
One early Sunday morning we both felt the spark
So we snuck back in the churchyard after dark
There beneath the silent stars
we drank white wine from mason jars
and you told me that you had a hundred ways to break my heart

Well you picked the lock and I opened up the door
And we laid a blanket down upon the floor
It’s not so much that I didn’t choose
when you took what I could not refuse
but how I wanted what you wouldn’t give until I’d hurt some more

Now can you hear the church choir sing
As it’s mixing with the mission bell ringing a long way off
I remember how I miss your touch
I miss your kiss, I miss so much about you
I miss almost everything about you

I lost a little of my innocence to you
So when you took the rest it felt like déjà vu
I thought I could hold fast to faith and grace and hope and chastity
But you wanted every little bit of that last virtue too

Now can you hear the church choir sing
As it’s mixing with the mission bell ringing a long way off
I remember how I miss your touch
I miss your kiss, I miss so much about you
I miss almost everything about you

I thought I knew what love was at the start
But you just knew the lines and played your part
And all the sweet things we’d rehearsed
You memorized them all in reverse
And you proved that you still had a hundred ways to break my heart
Track Name: Lonely People
Lonely people don’t ya cry
Lonely people don’t ya cry
‘cause even crippled birds
can teach themselves to fly
lonely people don’t ya cry

Heartsick people, don’t give up
Heartsick people, don’t give up
‘cuase the rain that’s falling now
could fill your empty cup
heartsick people don’t give up

when you finally learn to love the lady
luck has laid beside ya
and you finally promise to be true
you might find in time
that life can still surprise ya
she’s no longer loving you
‘cause you turned and walked away
one too many times
when you thought her love was always hear to stay

so hopeless people, dry your eyes
hopeless people, dry your eyes
‘cause every ending’s a new beginning in disguise
hopeless people dry your eyes
‘cause even crippled birds can teach themselves to fly
lonely people don’t ya cry
Track Name: Fisher King
Have you heard the tale of the king
Who was wounded by some betrayal
And how wasting away in the darkness he guards the grail
While everything good seems to fade
Despite all the plans that he’d made
But he won’t let it go or forgive
The one awful thing that he most needs to live
Well, he’s empty and cold
But at least he’s got the cup
And his fisher king wound is the thing he won’t give up

Now I’ve heard it said so much it sounds cliché
That you can’t know true love until you have thrown it away
Now that I’ve broken your heart
Now that I’ve torn us apart
Do I want you back ‘cause you’re gone?
Do I want you back ‘cause you’re moving on?
I thought we were through, but now I feel it too,
How my fisher king wound is the one I gave to you

If you know that inside me there’s doubt and fear and pain
Then I’m guessing for you it’s probably the same
Well, I know we both were betrayed
The moment I first felt afraid that something so strong can’t be true
So to hide from myself and from you I withdrew
Now my fisher king wound’s the kind I can’t conceal
‘cause I feel it cut deeper the more that your heart heals
and I thought we were through but now I feel it too
how my fisher king wound was the one I gave to you
Track Name: Veterans Day
The Red & Gray were marching in the Veterans Day parade
And the old guys wore their Stetson hats and the soldiers wore berets
And you wore that blue dress you knew I liked so much

And the color guard were twirling their batons of tasseled gold
The girls doubled up on nylon tights ‘cause the morning air was cold
And you wore that blue dress you knew I liked so much

How better able to love are the faithful and young
“Let there be nothing in the world but light,” we hear them pray every night
till the morning is there again like some kind of answered prayer
and our imaginary friend is there

We danced to Stars & Stripes Forever, the Salvation Army Band
And the snow was melting in the streets as the remembrances began
And you wore that blue dress you knew I like do much

I’ve done things that I can’t undo, said things I can’t unsay
But believe I love you just as much as I did on that day
when you wore that blue dress you knew I liked so much
Track Name: Stained Glass Windows
I woke up and the house was rearranged
I woke up from the strangest dream
and everything had changed

What happened to the life that I once knew
What happened to the life that I
Had tried to build with you

I know I threw it all away
but I want you back ‘cause no matter what I do
living without you hurts like a heart attack

Yellow orange red and royal blue
It sounds like every word I’ve said
Is too long overdue

But you know how the light comes through the glass
It has to lose a little strength
Before the light can pass

I know I threw it all away
but I want you back ‘cause no matter what I do
living without you hurts like a heart attack

I called to beg you, baby, come on home
‘cause no one else can teach me how
to learn to live alone

If I could somehow make things up to you
I would find a way to say
A thousand times, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do
Track Name: Silently
Now I recall when you would first confide in me
how all of the world was singing its song inside of me
Only three words, and the melody lifts surprisingly
How the blue of your eyes was the same as the clear summer skies
In my mind they conspire
silently

Then came the day I couldn’t recall when first we kissed
It seems the memory’d strayed, but hadn’t we both been quite remiss?
Love went away, I’ll never know what becomes of bliss
How the heat of desire is akin to a warm winter fire that burns bright
Then expires
silently

We’re holding on
To holding on
Too long
But it’s always enough to say
we’ll stay
today

How the things we denied were the same as the things we relied upon
But required
silently