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Chris Trapper


Chris Trapper - Gone Again
(2005 Always Gone Music/SESAC)

Some albums manage to be more than music, more than song or sound. If you catch it right, and if you’re open to it, they are windows into moments, and invitations to truth. No great Truth, mind you, other than what it feels like to be on the road, or sitting in your backyard on a warm day, or in love. Some albums are something more. Chris Trapper’s Gone Again is such an album.

This project finds the Push Stars front man joining the Wolverine Jazz Band, and is filled with a variety of clarinet counter-melodies and tuba bass-lines. Without exception, the songs work. When combined with Trapper’s expert songwriting and easy voice, the result is like nothing else you’ve heard, and yet is like everything you already love. Some songs bring to mind Cake or the Squirrel Nut Zippers, others Jack Johnson, John Mayer or Toad the Wet Sprocket. Listeners of a slightly earlier generation will recall Marc Cohn, David Wilcox, the Counting Crows or even Tom Waits. The point is that although Gone Again is completely unique and original, it’s not so original or unusual that you won’t find yourself playing it over and over.

The number of incredible songs on Gone Again is almost as many as there are tracks, but some deserve special mention. The album opens with a sweet rolling gem called “All Time Favorite,” which will put a smile on your face every time it sings from your stereo. “Nowhere” is a dirty old postcard, lost and pleading, dramatic and imperative. A proclaiming trumpet punctuates the story, and calls to mind a back alley somewhere in Tijuana. “Away We Go” brings us to a coconut island of tropical simplicity, a lazy love affair in the sun, which then transitions into the upbeat “Boston Girl.” This song taps along at exactly the pace of highway stripes running under the wheels of a car on the highway, cleverly complimenting the women of Boston by describing the kinds of women they are not. Then again Trapper manages to be romantic yet masculine, in the perfect “Dinner and Dream.” Whispering and beautiful, this song is perhaps the finest on the album.

There is still great music being made. You just have to go out and find it. Bring it into your life and you will be rewarded. Chris Trapper’s Gone Again has a place in your collection, and never far from your CD player.

- Jeff Imbaro


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