Thursday, 21 August 2014

MIKE TRAMP (White Lion) - Museum (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Singer Songwriter / Acoustic Rock
Label -

Track listing:
01. Trust In Yourself
02. New World Coming
03. Down South
04. Better
05. Freedom
06. Commitment
07. And You Were Gone
08. Slave
09. Mother
10. Time For Me To Go

After last year's very well received semi acoustic album Cobblestone Street, White Lion vocalist MIKE TRAMP toured massively thru Europe, USA and did some shows at Down Under.Mike Tramp even found time to record a brand new album entitled "Museum",
"Museum" picks up exactly where his previous disc Cobblestone Street left off. Again, following his new-found, back-to-the-roots direction, most of the songs are built around his acoustic guitar and amazing vocals with thoughtful and introspective lyrics.
Keyboards and electric guitars are used sparingly in order to bring depth to the songs. This singer-songwriter approach sees Tramp at his expressive best: once again he writes about a wide range of subjects.
The opening song "Trust in Yourself" is about corrupt politicians and law-makers and, while it's a good piece, I feel the opening track on his previous album is a lot more powerful as it helped set the mood for the entire disc. This song, on the other hand, is more of a stand-alone tune.
"Down South" picks up the pace with a playful riff while "Better," informed by a subtle keyboard melody, suggests he is 'slowly getting better' after the tumultuous period he went through being away from his wife and children, which most of the songs on Cobblestone Street dealt with.
"Freedom" sounds like a song off of Recovering the Wasted Years. A nice mid-tempo AORish piece, the song basically chronicles his life on tour and how he feels the need to break free every now and then. 
"And You Were Gone" and "Commitment" are both mellow in their flow, highlighting Tramp's unique, easily recognizable vocals while "Slave," which gives the impression it was recorded live in a single take, is a nice rocking track.
Without doubt, the most personal song on Museum is "Mother." Tramp has written about his mother before: fans of his first solo album will remember the lyrics on 'Have You Ever' where he tells his mother she is 'more than God'. Based around a simple acoustic guitar theme in order to draw the focus on Tramp's raspy voice and lyrics, this track basically sums up his feelings. 
The track ends on a hopeful note, when he sings he will make his 'life worth living' and 'make it up'. Ever since Tramp wrote the track '92' on the first Freak of Nature album, I feel there's no one else out there who can give life and meaning to personal lyrics like he can, and this song is another great addition to his catalog.
The album's last track is the beautiful "Time for Me to Go," which is a song that could be on the previous disc given the lyrics detail his difficult relationship with his wife. It's a melodic rock tune that sounds a lot like a Mike Spiro penned song.
"Museum" is another strong solo album by the former White Lion frontman.
Tramp's heart-rending voice is intact and has a feeling that few singers / songwriters can deliver with such expressive musicality.
Lovely record - Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

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