Rock & Pop

Christopher Owens

When: Sat., Oct. 11, 8 p.m. 2014

Christopher Owens’ performance at Outside Lands this year featured both a pedal-steel guitarist and Hammond organist, but it was his new songs that left the longest-lasting impression. With tremendous balladry and roots-indebted rock ’n’ roll, Owens’ compositions were immaculately balanced and emotive within traditional constraints. They showcased early tastes from A New Testament, Owens’ second solo album since disbanding the local band Girls. A New Testament, which Owens will perform in support of this Saturday at the Great American Music Hall (859 O’Farrell St., San Francisco), is laden with clichés, but the romantic tropes and transparent influences work to his advantage: The album feels honest (regardless of how true anything is), as if it was released before Owens could censor himself. Good pop works like that. It disarms us, flaunts universal feelings, and remains vague enough for everyone to relate to. A New Testament is an apt title because it asks for a little faith.

Sam Lefebvre

Price: $21–$23

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