Chapters - 2017 RPM Challenge Album

by Ian James Music



The RPM Challenge takes place every February. The challenge is for songwriters and studio enthusiasts to record a brand new album (either 10 songs, or 35 minutes of new music) only during the month of February. The idea behind the challenge is to motivate artists to focus on creation for one whole month, which works out well in the dead of winter. There are no prizes except the finished work of each artist (the album).

Now the challenge rules clearly state that the challenge is solely intended to be a "recording" challenge and not a writing challenge, Well my recording/writing process is all the same. I write my songs in the studio at the recorder. I do not write them and work on them for three months perfecting them before recording. I write my music on the fly, and record it while I write it. Now I may sit on recordings for years and tinker with them before releasing them, until I'm happy with them, and that's where the challenge comes in handy because there are deadlines. I do not have forever to tinker with these songs, they have to be done by the 28th of February.

For this reason its important for me to distinguish between RPM albums and my official releases. This album like my other RPM albums (Fata Morgana, Cheap Real Estate) should not be considered "official release" and it should be kept in mind that these albums are merely snapshots in my recording/writing process. Demos if you will.

Now having said that, I'm extremely proud of how this album of 11 songs came together so quickly, On February 1st these songs did not exist. By February 22 an album was born.

"Chapters" was originally just going to be an album of instrumentals, each song earning its name from a chapter of book in my library. This concept morphed once I got under way in the writing. Drawing from the current political climate, my own moods towards the climate, and the fears of what most Americans are observing about our country. There are elements of protest abound, and its certainly a protest against the current administration. I never wanted to be political in music, but I needed an outlet to let my own anger and frustration out, and music has always been my best outlet. Most of the song titles do in fact come from chapters of books in my library, but not all, The Oblivious and HypoChristian are both examples of content choosing its own name.

Please enjoy the album, and if nothing else, appreciate the work that went into it writing, performing, recording, and mixing all of these instruments. Hats off to all the other RPM Challenge participants. There is some amazingly talented people who take this annual challenge. In the end it should make us all better songwriters and music producers. Thanks for your support.


released February 24, 2017

Ian James and Andrew Marx



all rights reserved


Ian James Music Lowell, Massachusetts

I'm a solo, one man band from Lowell MA USA. My style is rock n roll with a modern touch and a nod to my influences Jimi Hendrix, Tommy Bolin, and Fela Kuti. My main weapon is electric guitar, and I use it almost semi automatically, to shoot down the notion that rock is dead. ... more

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Track Name: The Oblivious Are Killing Us
The oblivious are killing us (repeat) in our sleep...
They're so grateful, you don't care
They're so thankful you're not scared
Track Name: Pep Talk
Hey Hey Hey Ho, Donal Trump has got to go
The whole world is watching...
Track Name: HypoChristian
Track Name: Goodbye Carlos
Good bye Carlos, Good bye my friend
Good bye Carlos , until we meet again
Let the sunshine light your path and be on your way
keep on smiling don't look back, sorry you can't stay