Aged 79, Roger Chappo Chapman is indeed a big name of the British music scene. On 25th June 2021, he is releasing his first studio album after a twelve year hiatus. It is titled Life In The Pond. Here is my review.
Roger Chapman – About The Artist
Roger Maxwell Chapman was born on 8th April 1942 in Leichester. He is nowadays best known under his nickname Chappo and as a member of the progressive rock band Family, which had two Top 10 albums in 1970. Chapman released his solo debut album Chappo in 1979. His songs are typically rock and blues rock tracks. Since then, he has been really active as a musician. However, his last studio release was Hide Go Seek, a 2009 album review.
Roger Chapman – Life In The Pond – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 50 minutes.
1. Dark Side Of The Stairs
Roger Chapman starts his Life In The Pond with Dark Side of The Stairs, which is a nice blend of blues, rock and a touch of soul. the brass background sounds even increase the groovy character of the song. You just start the album with a characteristic blues swaying.
2. Playtime Is Over
Powerful riffs, nice piano melodies and almost choir-alike vocals in the chorus. How could you describe this song better than The playtime is over, here comes the blues. That’s just how you do this genre in very high quality.
3. Nightmare #5
Do you need to be desperate in some way to count your nightmares? If you are close to eighty years and just sing about your Nightmare #5, you must have had a good life. The song is very dark and comes with a slow, but very intense blues groove.
4. Rabbit Got The Gun
This fourth track is coming with organ sounds and another major guitar presence. The song is driven by the rhythmic elements, but is a bit of stronger on the rock side. Still, there is no doubt that Chappo’s key genre is blues. Cool one.
5. After The Rain
After The Rain is again very much of a rock track, which also has a Southern States music touch, especially due to the harmonica sounds. One of the most catching songs of the album to me. The main guitar theme could even be a hard rock song one.
6. Having Us A Honeymoon
Very unexpected beginning – Having Us A Honeymoon starts with the Wedding March and then feels like an easy saloon piano song. Quite a contrast to the gloomy songs which the album featured before. A song which just has to make you smile. We don’t need to have a wedding // To having us a Honeymoon. Nice way to topic love.
In this song, Roger Chapman is covering Oscar Brown Jr, a civil rights activist, who released this song (as The Snake) in 1968. Really cool version and good listen.
8. On Lavender Heights
On Lavender Heights is a lovely quiet track. It almost feels like a lullaby, but is richer in instrumentation. Nonetheless, I should likely not review that one in evening hours.
9. Green As Guacamole (GAG)
The ninth song is as strange as the title already suggests. It is spreading a nice vibe, though. The track comes with a lot of summer feeling – and finally, it makes you smile. There must be some entertainment in a good album as well. Regarding that, GAG is prime time.
10. Collar Turned Up
While there is a clear touch of blues in most of the first songs of the album, Roger Chapman is now coming with a wider range of songs and sounds. Collar Turned Up feels quite pop-ish and also has some soul and funk references. Nice sax solo.
11. Naughty Child
The closing track might feel a bit strange at first sight – but in fact Chapman is closing the album with a positive-looking and a bit of ironic looking back to his lifetime. A song which is different in any way – but somehow suits to the messages of the songs, especially the ones before.
Roger Chapman – Life In The Pond – Spotify
Here is Life In The Pond on Spotify:
Roger Chapman – Life In The Pond – My View
Not sure if Life In The Pond is really already some farewell album – but Roger Chapman definitely does a nice statement of his musical abilities after such a long absence. The songs have a great variety and are quite entertaining. The last songs are a bit too much for me and lead to a too big break compared to the recordings before.
British Media Reviews
Here are more music and other media reviews about bands originated in the United Kingdom:
Flyctory.com on Social Media
Flyctory.com is active on the following social media platforms:
Furthermore, you can follow the weekly updated Country Music Playlists on