'Another Roll of the Dice'
Release Date: 2007
TJR knows how to combine the great elements of classic Rock n' Roll with sharp and humorous modern observations.
An antidote for rock fans starved of the tight backbeat and wailing guitar solos of classic rock, TJR's 'Another Roll of the Dice' is a sonic homage to what is great about Rock n' Roll, with the addition of cleverly interspersed social commentary.
The message of the album's first track, "Peace, Love, and Don't Trust MTV" will be readily championed by any fans of music who, like myself, are disenchanted with the 'music' station's false advertising regarding its programming.
Next up is "One Summer Morning", a mellow track with a great beat that is reminiscent of Thin Lizzy in its vocals and an acoustic George Thorogood in its music.
The cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya" is slower and quieter than the original, which effectively emphasizes the lyrics and should introduce this song to a demographic who may have passed the original version over.
"Baby Please" begins with audience applause and a cool descending hook; the shuffle of this song is evocative of ZZ Top. It proves to be a guitar warm-up for the great solo in "Blue", which begins with swelling, moaning licks and ends in a flurry of notes amidst the swagger of the backing band; it feels like your last drink before closing time at the bar.
The album's 7th track, "Home To Me", is a nice detour from the previous songs; its plaintive lyrics and dreamy guitars add another color to the album's feel, and set a nice sonic mood for the next track to catch the listener unaware -
"Jesus Loves You, Everyone Else Thinks You're an A**hole" makes its point in a good-natured way with its humor and laid back music (the edited bonus track's use of what sounds like a party favor to censor the expletive takes an already humorous song and makes it even funnier; TJR has been thoughtful enough to provide you with options when giving this song to your favorite annoying acquaintance).
After this, it's back to what he does best; "Lil' Miss Thang" has a Dire Straits feel, and the guitars remind us that layers of distortion are not what makes a song heavy. "Moves Like This" uses the same tones to effectively blend boogie licks into a catchy, foot-tapping pop song.
The lush production and mellow feel of "Anna" gives way to the album's most interesting track, "Bare", with its moody intensity building throughout the track until the drums come in to drive it home at 3:21. The music here made me think of The Band mixed with Pink Floyd, and the introspective lyrics will draw the listener even further in.
The album concludes with "No One Makes The Sunshine", a jazz-infused up tempo tune which surprisingly segues quite effectively from a Santana-esque solo fest into a smooth solo piano reprise.
In summary, the abundance of styles and lyrical content on 'Another Roll of the Dice' will appeal to a vast array of rock fans and will hold up well to repeated listening.
Charles Griggs - 2009