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MIKE TRAMP Maybe Tomorrow

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Monday, March 27, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

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Maybe Tomorrow

Target Records - 2017

I know it might not be cool or trendy to admit it, but for while during the band's heyday I was a big fan of WHITE LION. That said, in the years and/or decades since, I really haven't paid much attention to singer Mike Tramp's solo material output.

And that might be a mistake on my part if his past solo releases are as good as I found Maybe Tomorrow to be. What makes the album a little bit more remarkable than even my greatest expectations could've hoped for was discovering that while Tramp doesn't shy away from his rock and roll roots, his song lyrics are rather insanely great. They actually spend a number of tracks recalling the best of what you could expect from that "singer-songwriter" genre of music. I'm speaking of course of the higher end of the quality spectrum, not the self-indulgent side of things.

The album opens up with the fast starting "Coming Home". While the opening intro is musically vibrant, it immediately settles into a slower delivery once the vocals start. But instead of settling for that groove, the song's pacing then picks up over the rest of the track. It is a really great track to kick things off. You find yourself both singing along and agreeing with the lyrical sentiment of "Coming home to the place where you belong."

Fighting against the grain of criticism at every turn or decision you make forms the lyrical foundation of "It's Not How We Do It", another uptempo piece that leads into the first of two tracks on the album that find Tramp exploring themes of dark and light.

The "light" track is "Spring", where Tramp implores the listener to "Wake up open your eyes / Time has come for you to rise / You've lived in darkness for too long / break free from your cocoon / Here and now won't be too soon / Got to believe that you are strong."

The "dark" track is "Time And Place" that has a much more bleak outlook in lyrics like "There's a time and a place / When the smile have left your face / lock the door turn the key go away / When the night has no end / And you ain't nobody's friend / lock the door turn the key go away."

What makes these two flip side of the other tracks so interesting is that while they are crafted of opposing themes, Tramp has given each one an innate sense of beauty. "Spring" is a mid to uptemp track with just enough ooomph to keep the heart rate on the rise, while "Time And Place" is a slow piano track with a sparse vocal performance yet it is just as powerful.

In the song "Why Even Worry At All", instead of being an ode to life on the road, the tack taken here is more of a longing to start a life on the road of adventure and that sometimes undefinable sense of "freedom".

There's not much in the way of a downer type of song on the disc, though I found I did like certain songs far more than others. For my money, the stand out brilliant number is the rocker "Rust And Dust". The song seems doubly serves to tacitly acknowledge Tramp's music past and what was accomplished there, while simultaneously wondering what's next or what's to come at the end of the "day". I loved the line "This ain't what I wanted, but it's everything I've got".

I am not always surprised by the music I hear from artists that I once listened to like a religion, but there are those moments where surprise and a pleasant feeling of renewed warmth towards said performer happen. That is definitely the case in listening to and writing about Mike Tramp's Maybe Tomorrow album. The album has a varied tracklisting and standout songcraft both musically and lyrically. It was a genuine pleasure to kind of re-discover Tramp and find that he's grown into an even more sure-footed performer in all respects.

4.2 Out Of 5.0

Pick up your copy of Maybe Tomorrow in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.

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