If my sources and counting are right, Inside Voices is already the 17th studio album by Americana-pop/rock artist Ron Pope. This is quite remarkable as he is releasing music since 2008 only. The album has been released on 2nd June 2023 by the US-American musician. Here is my review.
Ron Pope – About The Artist
Ron Pope was born on 23rd July 1983 in Marietta, Georgia, just Northwest out of Atlanta. He initially pursued a promising career in baseball and also attended Rutgers University in New Jersey for that reason. However, an injury made him change plans and he transferred to New York University to pursue a career in music. There, he ran into later bandmates and also had some initial success, e.g. by co-writing the song A Drop In The Ocean, which did quite well in the internet. He became very active in releasing music. Just in 2008, Spotify still lists four four Ron Pope albums.
Ron Pope – Inside Voice – Track by Track
The eleven song album (including digital bonus track) lasts 35 minutes.
1. Body Language
You speak my body language
Use the words I never heard
You speak my body language
You’re the only one on Earth
Despite the opening song is not one of the five tracks selected as single release already, it gets its job done perfectly. The rhythmic song with a folk-pop touch attracts the listener from the very first moment. Very nice write, which is nicely focusing on the lyrics.
2. Lie, Cheat, & Steal
While the opener had a rhythmic vibe, the second song is slow, very personal and feels like a straight piano ballad. Ron Pope does a lovely job on the microphone side, varying his voice just in the way you need to boost the emotions of the song. Lovely.
3. Love is a Thing You Do
The Bandcamp site of the album calls Inside Voice the most intimate album of his career. Not too surprisingly, it is not only reflecting the death of his grandparents. His wife Blair was in hospital in parallel, the perspective was uncertain. Beautiful ballad with a strong of sadness and melancholy are just what you write in this situation. Like Love is a Thing You Do. It is so incredibly touching.
4. Make Me Stay
There is no chance to put the tissues away in these 35 minutes. If you want to dance and enjoy life, better don’t listen to this album. The amazing heart of these songs are the lyrics, the stories. Even though they deal with the same topic somehow, just from a different perspective. Make Me Stay, for example, is again a slow, melancholic song, which also breaks out and has some rather angry sections.
I gave you my ring
I gave you my name
I gave every single thing
I ever had to give away
I loved you in the good time
and I’ve loved you when it’s hard
I ever loved you in the daylight
and loved you in the dark.
5. The Good Old Days
The fifth song is not a happy vibe song. But when Pope is looking back in time, it does not feel as dark and sad as some other songs on this album. Still, there are a lot of touching moments during this listen.
6. The Real Thing
I would call The Real Thing a rather desperate song. The song is so impressively underlining all the emotions the artist has. The level of intimacy is amazing.
7. Three Days after Christmas
The context of the album is already telling you that this one is nothing about a tree, presents, being happy, family life… Finally, no song on Inside Voice is expressing so much sadness, so much pain like this song. Pope is almost crying into the microphone, the sparse instrumentation is not relevant.
8. To Be Without You
I was scared to be without you is the key phrase of this song. After all the emotional, intimate songs, this song feels so heartwarming. I guess that the female artist singing the duet with Pope is his wife – what a beautiful way to continue telling the story.
9. You’re OK
I am still touched by all the melancholic, painful songs full of fear of uncertainty. The rather happy folk-style of the simple message You’re OK just does not feel right (yet), even though it is the exactly right fit for the storyline of this album. Nice track.
10. You Are That Someone
The final song of the (ordinary) set of songs is a beautiful love song. Touching, heart-warming. That’s what you call a happy ending.
11. What a Wonderful World (digital bonus)
This song is exclusive to the album if you buy it on Bandcamp (as far as I understood the notes). Ron Pope does the song Louis Armstrong turned into a global hit in a wonderful, gentle style. Even though the sound is much more fragile than the initial recording, it somehow feels to be in line with it. In the context of Inside Voice, the song feels like a thankful prayer to me.
Ron Pope – Inside Voice – Spotify
Here is Inside Voice on Spotify:
Ron Pope – Inside Voice – My View
Wow, Ron Pope wrote an amazing album. You can feel all the stages of this faith while listening through the songs of Inside Voice. You keep your fingers crossed, you already feel a loss of a beloved person… and then smile with him at the happy ending. All that is due to excellent songwriting, excellent stories. And a key factor is the outstanding performance by Ron Pope on the microphone. Great listen.
Ron Pope – Tour 2023
If you like the album, Ron Pope is giving you the opportunity to enjoy the music live on stage. There are twelve European shows in September 2023:
|Oslo (Norway) – Parkteatret
|Göteborg (Sweden) – Pustervik
|Stockholm – Södra Teatern
|Copenhagen (Denmark) – Hotel Cecil
|Hamburg (Germany) – Knust
|Berlin – Badehaus
|Munich – Ampere / Muffatwerk
|Cologne – Artheater
|Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Melkweg
|Bristol (United Kingdom) – St. George’s
|Manchester – The Stoller Hall
|London – Union Chapel
Album cover by Laura Partein
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