“QUITTERS” BY CHRISTIAN LEE HUTSON ALBUM REVIEW
October 5, 2022
The sophomore studio album Quitters by California native Christian Lee Hutson begins with the cheerful laughter of a friend and melts away into a melancholic tune. The montage of moments revealed through careful lyricism gives listeners a peephole into the unique outlook of Hutson regarding both his past and present experiences.
Through melodic guitar arrangements and passionate, whisper-like vocals, Quitters captures the heartbreak of hopelessness and the joy that, nevertheless, pushes us forward.
Released on Nov. 4, 2021, Quitters was produced by Hutson’s friends and renowned musicians Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst. Both Bridgers and Oberst are known widely for their tortured yet honest lyrics, and it is without a doubt that they lended mastery to this collection of songs.
Bridgers’s and other vocalists’ contributions add additional layers to the stylings of Hutson, who sings as if he is drifting in and out of a dream. The consciously crafted melodies, harmonies, and warm musical accompaniment aids in the telling of Hutson’s precise stories of loss, love, and all that comes between.
It is clear that the standout feature of Quitters is the deep, clever, and despairing lyrics that remain in mind long after the final chord is strummed. It is with precision that Hutson describes the loss of his oldest friend, his clinical OCD as a crime, and the pain of broken relationships.
Often, he phrases hopelessness alongside hope. For example, in “Rubberneckers” he proclaims, “If you tell a lie for long enough then it becomes the truth / I am gonna be okay someday / With or without you.”
Additionally, Hutson tells stories through the second person, often revealing to the listener something his friend once said. This tactic allows the listener to engage in the songs as if they are conversations between close friends.
Overall, the musicianship and lyrics represented in Quitters is reminiscent of Bright Eyes’s 2005 album I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning. This is a reasonable comparison, as Conor Oberst is the songwriter behind Bright Eyes, and Hutson had frequently supported Bright Eyes on tour this past year.
Therefore, it is no surprise that Hutson names Elliot Smith and Conor Oberst among his musical heroes, supplying a similar passionate vulnerability to listeners.