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SECOND TIME AROUND ALBUM REVIEW
SECOND TIME AROUND ALBUM REVIEW
Mike Tramp still firmly battles against the past regarding his solo music. His music is still always compared to the sound of White Lion.
Is it fair? No it isn't. Mike Tramp has released 3 times as many solo albums compared to White Lion. Also, he distanced his solo music far away from the sound of White Lion.
Don't expect high pitch glam rock vocals and extended finger tapping guitar solo's while wearing spandex and big hair. Mike's music has grown and not just by a few inches.
Compare his current music to Petty, Springsteen, Cash, Dylan, Thin Lizzy and likewise. Listen to the deep lyrics he was already aiming for with White Lion but did not get enough space for to explore. More classic rock, with some southern and folk hints here and there.
Mike Tramp is a Unique songwriter who likes to stay in his comfort zone regarding his sound and style. He often writes from a personal point of view to the world we are living in and isn't afraid to critisize here and there. In fact you will find a protest song on many of his releases. He doesn't try to recreate a sound that isn't his anymore. This is something you can also witness when going to a Mike Tramp live show. A pure entertainer who doesn't need a lot of distractions around him. He will naturally fill the venue with charisma.
A singer who doesn't try to do what he did 30, 35 years ago. A singer who knows his voice is lower and therefor smartly rearranges the old White Lion songs to a suitable style reflecting his overall current sound.
Mike Tramp's new release "Second Time Around" is exactly what the title predicts.
A re-recorded version of previously recorded songs Mike nowadays wasn't 100% satisfied with and didn't get a proper release previously.
So now with different arrangements, here and there added/different musicians, these songs got a real second time around, a second chance which they clearly deserve.
Mike has quoted that these songs are very important to him because they were written at a certain time where he found himself on a crossroad in his career.
So listen and find out for yourself.
"All Of My Life" kicks in with a nice rocking guitar intro with a nice sharp drum.
A song about Mike's life as a rock n roll star in general, looking back at the good times but also the bad times.
These lyrics say it all, Mike gave his heart and soul for rock n roll.
A very catchy mid-tempo rocker with an uplifting tune which also holds a wonderful break towards the more depressing lyrics of suddenly being outside the main spotlights.
A song about wanting to come home and an awesome way to get this album party started.
The first single on this album is "The Road".
A song that holds some great lyrics about how hard life for an artist can be.
Another travel down Mike's memory lane metaphorically pictured as the road.
A nice semi ballad which is very well balanced and holds some great guitar parts. Just listen to the part towards the end. Awesome.
The melancholic "Anymore" is about a troubled relation.
A very deep song to be honest.
As it rolls along it will grab your inner feelings and lets it come to the surface.
"Why don't we face it, we ain't got us anymore".
If this is a personal lyric (which i will leave to the listener's interpretation) you feel exactly what he goes through here.
Much more positive is "Come On", such a nice song to singalong with.
Always a song to put on when you are in need of a smile.
The background vocals by Emily Garriock Langeskov (bass player Claus Langeskov's wife) is a very nice addition here.
The 2nd single on this album "Between Good And Bad" sees Mike Tramp putting on some rawness here and there in the vocals. a nice rocker but always written and performed in a way that it stays catchy and easy to singalong with.
Love the middle part, just before the solo kicks in where he sings a lot like Phil Lynott.
The highlight on this release to me is "Lay Down Your Guns".
Mike sings this with so much quality, an amazing showcase of timing and feel.
There is simply so much going on with the guitars and Hammond in between if you listen closely.
And then towards the end when you think it can't get any better....?
I am not going to spoil this vocal part but it amazed me like never before!
One of Mike's fav. subjects off course is singing about what can happen along the road.
"Highway" is one of those songs, however Mike doesn't have that many road songs about falling in love. This sure is one of them.
A great and very catchy rocker which is the ideal song to play while driving along the highway yourself. I won't get you making a U-turn back home for sure.
"No Tomorrow" deals with not thinking about tomorrow much but trying to think from day to day in a troubled world and making the best of it.
A good message to live with these days.
"Gonna Get Back To You" kicks in with the chorus vocals straight away, a different start compared to the other songs on this release.
Mike is even hitting a higher octave here and there. Pure fun with a very nice guitar part as well. Nice up-tempo.
The last song on the album is a very personal song.
"When She Cries" is about the birth of his daughter Isabelle and the emotional journey that comes with becoming a father.
A song in a very slow pace with a very nice guitar and piano to support his voice.
It doesn't get more honest, pure and naked than this.
A very fragile song which fits the topic perfectly and an amazing way to complete this very enjoyable release.
This album is as said before a re-recorded album, a new version of the album Mike Tramp & The Rock N Roll Circuz (Yes with a "z") from 2009.
This time holding 10 instead of 13 songs to make it more cohesive.
These songs are recorded with a fresher sound and have a bit more of an "in your face" live feel to it.
Also, it all is re-arranged to a style that fits Mike's more recent releases where he feels himself very comfortable and at home with.
A fantastic addition to a fast growing amount of solo releases.
In fact which former rock band singer who's gone solo has delivered more solo albums in a relative short period of time?
There sure aren't many!
As Mike often stated and sung during his rock n roll life: "It's not a fashion, it's a way of life".
Mike Tramp: Vocal, Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Oliver Steffensen: Main Guitar all songs
Claus Langeskov: Bass
Morten Hellborn: Drums
Soren Andersen: Additional Guitar
Jay Boe: Hammond B-3
Marcus Nand: 12 String Acoustic Guitar, 1st solo on “Back To You”
Emily Garriock Langeskov: Backing Vocals
Lars Rahbek Andresen: Piano on "Highway"
MIKE TRAMP DISCOGRAPHY
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