Rob Roper's first full-length album, Misfit, is an eclectic mix of rock and folk, with a teaspoon each of funk, West African and Irish drinking songs thrown in as surprises. The album was produced and engineered by the highly regarded John McVey at Coupe Studios in Boulder, Colorado. McVey directed a top-notch crew of professional studio musicians for Misfit, and the result is drenched in sonic brilliance.
The artwork and packaging of the album is stunning. Designed by Greg Carr and Salli Ratts, it is both innovative and beautiful. The cover is like a hardcover book. Inside is a beautifully-bound booklet. Each song merits two pages in the booklet, one with text about the song by Roper, and the other with original art by Greg Carr related to the song. Those who normally download songs should reconsider in the case of "Misfit". This CD is worth having for both the visual art as well as the music.
Speaking of the music, the CD features 10 songs. While musically diverse, the songs have common lyrical themes, with the emotions ranging from humorous to melancholy. Roper penned 8 of the songs. "Chair on the Moon" was written by Bill Kahler, and "Little White Boy" by Lori Grebe Cook. The latter was written by Cook after Roper told her about growing up in 1960's Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement.
Misfits the world over are sure to love this record.
"...drenched with emotion, with truly beautiful songs....a modest masterpiece." -- www.rootstime.be
"Roper's gentle blend of Americana and rock n roll is as memorable as the package it comes in... plinks at heart strings and funny bones... finding both the sorrow and the humor in some of the shadowed crevices of day-to-day life... a solid songwriter with a talent for telling stories from unusual perspectives... an entertaining effort." --Wildy's World
"On the title track of Rob Roper's first full-length, Misfit, the singer-songwriter spends a good portion of the song singing about what he isn't. To wit: He's not a hippie, redneck or vegan. What's more, he doesn't have a tattoo, piercings or dreadlocks, and he doesn't drink Bud Light or Jagermeister. But what Roper is, as Misfit proves, is a guy with some sharp songwriting skills and a knack for penning witty lyrics. On the African-tinged 'Me' (which Roper dedicates to people who daydream at their jobs, especially musicians and artists having to work day jobs), he sings about working for the Man and staring at a screen-- but, he stresses, 'This ain't me.' On the album's lively opener, 'Falling Into Heaven,' Roper and his group summon Bob Dylan, then tone it down on the heartbreaking 'You Could Have Had Me.'" ----Jon Solomon, The Westword, May 17 2011
"Combining a vocal delivery at times reminiscent of Joe Strummer, other times Peter Asher, Roper creates noticeable pop music. And here, his chameleon-like vocal delivery adds to the songs' power and impact. From the opening cut ("Falling Into Heaven") with its Tom-Petty-esque lope, to the heavy-footed elephant stomp of the title cut, Roper's musical persona is part folkie, part nerd, part conceptual artist, and part cultural critic. On "Bipolar," he combines Motown,Stax/Volt, and Tin-Pan Alley with a dash of smooth jazz. "Apollo's Little Bastard" combines mythical allusions with a sort of self-help patter for mere mortals. And if songwriting isn't enough, Roper takes a blistering electric guitar solo, as well. Producer John McVey handles most of the other electric guitar parts throughout the album.
"Even the packaging here is special. Instead of the usual jewel case or eco-paperboard, Misfit has a book-like cover with thick paper pages and commissioned illustrations. The music more than delivers on the promise of the packaging."
--Vintage Guitar, September 2011
"Singer/Songwriter Rob Roper pulled out all the stops for his debut full-length "Misfit". Putting as much focus on the visuals (cover art, booklet info, etc.) as he does on the 10 stellar tunes that make up the album, Roper has made it necessary for listeners to invest in an actual physical (gasp!) CD. The stylized concept--which resembles a hardcover book--would be pointless without good music to accompany it. Roper succeeds in that area, as well.
"The eight original tunes on "Misfit" were written between 2004 and 2009, and find Roper ruminating on life, love and pop culture. Highlights include the title track, "Me", "Bipolar" and "The Screwup Song," and his covers of Bill Kahler's "Chair on the Moon" and Lori Grebe Cook's "Little White Boy" are equally effective. Good stuff."
---JS, In Tune, The Daily News, May 19, 2011