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Next review: » Mike Tramp - Songs I Left Behind
Recovering The Wasted Years
Released: 2001, Ulftone
I always had a soft spot for White Lion back in the day. I even followed Mike Tramp’s career as he moved on and formed Freak of Nature. I lost touch until recently getting this, the third of his solo albums. In my mind it is really only his second solo CD as the last one in 1999 was his reworkings of old White Lion stuff. You can tell by the title he is still caught up in the past to some degree.
Man, what a disappointment. This is pretty weak. What we have here is an introspective rock album. And I do mean rock, not melodic metal, plain rock and boring rock at that. It sounds like a bad mix of many generic and lame rock bands like U2, Tragically Hip and other assorted wimps, posers and losers.
The whole thing is slow to slow/mid-tempo with really only two tracks “Living A Lie” and “If It Ain’t Going to Rock” barely get up to the level of a watery White Lion ballad, which is a prospect that most people would shudder at. Even so, considering I am a little more charitable considering my connection with the band as a fan in the past, the songs are still pretty weak.
Don’t get wrong, this CD is not all bad. It is a lush mixture of acoustic driven guitar rock, and he still has a decent set of lungs, his distinct voice adding a nice dimension to pretty poor, uninspired songs. Lyrically he is still writing vague metaphysical, melodramatic songs like, “Follow your Dreams”, “Endless Highway” and “Always Tomorrow”. The whole thing really does sound like an album of later-era, pseudo bluesy, Bon Jovi ballads. Some people get off on that kind of thing. In fact, I can as long there are only one or two songs (maximum) of that nature on a CD… but a whole12 tracks of it? It has too much nondescript rock and not enough balls, all at the same time.
Die-hard fans (if there are any left, they are probably women who used to be in love with Tramp when they were teens) might like this CD. It is a very sensitive (shudder) and introspective CD. As Tramp began to rebuild his life in Australia with his son the result was this very down-toned, muted and I’m sure very personal, heartfelt release. He is Danish and he recording the whole thing in Denmark with a bunch of Danish friends, quite the international guy. I admire and respect his career and perseverance in a tough industry, but man, 10 whiny songs and two mid-tempo rockers don’t cut it.
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