Chris J. Smith & Lynley Evans – ‘Hollow Praise’

Review by Matt Wong & Staff


Chris J. Smith & Lynley Evans are an original singer-songwriter duo based out of Asbury Park, New Jersey. Smith and Evans have over eight years performance experience in various projects. Combining their talents, they offer a unique an insightful musical experience. Their latest project, Objects In Space, is a 7 song compilation of their best, original songs to date.

“Hollow Praise” begins with a tranquil vibe sent up by a keys part playing chords on the downbeats that swell in subtly with a slight tremelo. Shortly after, the drums enter with a shuffle on the hi-hat along with bass. They are followed by another keyboard part that is comping and rhythmic. With the first verse, the vocals enter, with Evans and Smith trading from phrase to phrase.

The arrangement choices for the verse are perfect for the song, with the foundation parts contrasting the rhythmic parts so drastically that they allow the vocals to sit squarely in the middle and shine. The pre-chorus begins to connect the verse to the chorus, with the phrasing of the melody becoming more elongated while sitting on the funky groove. When the song gets to the chorus, all stops are pulled out and the arrangement goes to town, now complete with a dirty electric guitar part playing staccato 8th notes against the groove. Following the chorus, the song cleans up again for the second verse, and returns to the laid back groove from the first verse. Going through the form one more time, the song ends with a tasty keys solo.


The lyrics in “Hollow Praise” tell the story of a romance that appears to be flawless on the surface, but unable to survive when desire becomes involved. The lyric “one song to sing now” symbolizes how lovely is merely a reflection of one’s self, and how our attraction to others is reflected more in how they make us feel than who they truly are as an individual.

“Hollow Praise” by Chris J. Smith and Lynley Evans is a song that will connect with listeners with its strong and tight groove, as well as its deep lyrics. In addition to being talented songwriters, Smith and Evans form a partnership as performers to be reckoned with. Their voices complement each other nicely, and with outstanding, and creative production ideas, they deliver a unique sound to listeners. Shout out to Michael Engesser on a fantastic production.

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For more information on Chris J. Smith & Lynley Evans, please visit their website.

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