Make It Through This World
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2005, Volume 12, #11
Written by John Metzger
Since 1986, when he released his debut We Won’t Dance, Greg Trooper has slowly but steadily developed a following, particularly among his fellow songwriters. Indeed, although he has yet to score a hit for himself, an array of artists, including Steve Earle and Vince Gill, have incorporated his compositions into their repertoires. Nevertheless, in crafting his seventh outing Make It through This World, Trooper opted to embark upon a bold new direction, and with the assistance of producer Dan Penn, he successfully metamorphosed his material from its typical folk-rock framework into the realm of glorious, gospel-infused, blue-eyed soul. As is evident throughout the album, the alterations that he made to his core sound undeniably agree with his tender but gritty voice, and although he doesn’t completely leave behind his rustic, roots-oriented ruminations, he does alter them significantly. By embedding them within easy-going R&B grooves and adorning them with the subtle swirl of Hammond B-3 organ, he allows his songs — from This I’d Do’s gentle lilt to Green Eyed Girl’s steady-rolling breeziness to Lonely Pair’s bittersweet sorrow — to waltz gracefully from Oklahoma to the Deep South, and as a result, the entirety of the collection feels like a collaboration between Eric Clapton and The Band. While a few too many tracks glide along at roughly the same pace, offering little to distinguish one selection from the next, Make It through This World is intriguing enough to warrant a sequel. ½
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box