Chris Parish wants to fill the world with silly love songs. What’s wrong with that?



Not a thing – especially if it makes the ladies swoon for him. A quick glance at his MySpace page, or a scan of the crowd at one of his live shows says it all. Chicks dig him.



And why shouldn’t they? He is charmingly self-deprecating and disarmingly charismatic. His humor is contagious and his matter-of-fact mannerisms are refreshing. As a singer-songwriter, his music is much of the same.



Parish proclaims, "I can’t sing." Then he quickly adds, "I mean, I can hold my own. The rock songs, the acoustic songs – I’m proud of how far I’ve come. But I’ll know I’ve made it when I can really belt out ‘Photograph’ by Def Leppard. Especially if I’m sporting those Joe Elliot’s jeans. You know the ones?"



His first full-length album, Late Bloomer, a collection of pop-40 friendly, straight up rock songs, will drop later this month. He plays shows around Hollywood on a regular basis, but has also taken his music to such places as Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Texas and even England.



After sitting down with Parish and just shooting the shit for a couple of hours, his manager contacted me to do her "thing" and send over his bio. The opening line spoke volumes about Parish and his music – "I sucked for at least eight years." And that one simple line illustrates his courage and his honesty, which is captured in his soul-baring music.



He has that rare quality of understanding who he is and what he does best, and that is the secret to his sound. It took him some time, beginning to play music at the ripe age of 17, but he has found where he fits within the world of music.



"I’m very lyrically driven, but this new album rocks pretty hard, I think," he says. "At the same time, I’m always going to have a little bit of the old school folk crooner in me – Neil Diamond, James Taylor. My father used to play that stuff for me when I was little, and it stuck. Every now and then when I’m searching for the perfect lyric, I think, ‘Now how would John Denver throw this down?’"



True to his analysis, Late Bloomer is a collection of occasionally furious, always melodic basic rock. The songs soar with enthusiasm and honesty, and that is what makes the album original. There’s no noise for the sake of noise, no speed for the sake of speed. He puts together well-crafted songs that will stay with you all day long.



"The number one comment I get from fans is that they love the lyrics, the stories I tell. They relate on a personal level," Parish continues. "It feels great to hear that, because sometimes it takes me a few shots at it to figure out what the hell I’m trying to say. And it has to be the truth for me. I grew up watching guys like Eddie Vedder and Paul Westerberg, and the emotion they delivered to the audience left us hanging on every word … that’s what I’m going for."



Parish moved to Hollywood in 2001 to try to take advantage of the musical opportunities here, but as you can tell by now, he’s not your typical scenester. After growing up in suburban Detroit, he says he’ll always have a little "small town" in him.



"I would love to live in the middle of nowhere in Canada and just watch hockey for a while."



And with that, it’s time for Parish to leave. A couple of 20-ish girls at the table next to us have been checking out his boyish good looks all afternoon, so when he gets up he smiles and says, "Now you girls enjoy your afternoon."



Did I mention that the ladies love him?



Late Bloomer will be available March 21. For more information, visit www.chrisparish.com.