Ron Pope is singer/songwriter from Atlanta Georgia who has found critical acclaim for several albums released in the US. At the start of February he released his new album – Calling Off The Dogs. So I’ve been asked to have a listen to it on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/ronpopemusic/sets/calling-off-the-dogs) and see what I think.
So as far as I can tell this is an album filled with 11 songs about relationships. Nothing wrong with a song about relationships at all. But if you’re doing an eleven song album write at least one song about something else, you know pandas, shoe-boxes, snowstorms, the price of tinned tomatoes, anything, just have one song in there about something else. If you’re aiming at entertainment for the lovelorn alone put stuff out like this. Next time give it some weight fellah stop taking the easy route.
OK, OK, I’m starting to rant a little, let me reel in the harshness. The sound-scapes are good. Nice effects nicely arranged. I’m hearing everything in there from Lionel Richie to EuroRock to Soundgarden and I like that. But at points I’m just wishing it would go somewhere else. Step it up a notch. Make a different choice. I’m inspired by some of the lyrics but then the next line or the melody turns me off. I get the feeling this a step or two steps away from being a major record, mainstream, move over, but its not, its just lacking that certain pizazz, that snap. It seems I’m always waiting for something to happen and it either half-happened or it just didn’t
Let me say I like the first song Lick My Wounds I could listen to that a few times, that’s fair. What bothers me though is the overuse of “wa-heys”, by that I mean singing sounds not words, you know “oh-oh-ohs”, “whoa-whoa-whoas” “la-la-las””. If they sound good, those non-meaning sounds, then why not write some words to fit that melody. If you did then wouldn’t they also be catchy and excellent! It generally sounds good but its filler and Its sort of cheating and its a little lazy in my opinion.
Here are some links to the official Ron Pope Website http://ronpopemusic.com/. And his Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RonPopeOfficial. He has nearly 150k likes so he cant be all that bad to everyone, I’d feel bad if I didn’t ask you to take a quick listen for yourself just in case.
I can see some people really liking this its just not me. And sadly I shared it with some folks with differing tastes to me, without giving them any info and they came to almost exactly the same conclusions. One example –
“…I liked the first one but the rest of it did not meet my expectations. It had a feel of a late 90’s Dawson’s creek soundtrack kind of vibe. Bit cheesy, I found some of the music/lyric combos a bit puzzling too. I would buy the first song but I would skip the rest. Hope this has helped? So… What did you think then?”
What did I think? Well, New Friends (Track 10) is perhaps a glimmer of hope of something higher but for the most part this is 6/10 at best.