Arie Van Der Graaf,
Pure Rock Patroller
Monday, February 18, 2002 @ 1:51 PM
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Recovering The Wasted Years takes the listener on a journey into the life of Mike Tramp. The style of music is somewhere in between Trampís previous bands White Lion and Freak Of Nature and veers from hook-laden pop metal to gut-wrenching emotional workouts. Reportedly, much of the lyrics were inspired by attempted White Lion reunion and you can hear the pain and sorrow he has been going through in recent years. While Tramp was already a pretty melancholy singer, this time he has really made the ultimate melancholy album. It doesnít get any more emotional than this. ďToo much bloody perspective,Ē to quote Spinal Tap's Derek Smalls.
The album basically breaks down to the good time hard rock party songs that Tramp was briefly famous for, and the sadder, heavier numbers steeped in his own life stories.
In the party rock category, we get "If It Aint Gonna Rock," the most overtly White Lion sounding tune here, with its big, melodic chorus and upbeat vibe. ďFollow Your Dreams," easily the best song on the album, has a wonderful Freak Of Nature-style sound and features some autobiographical lyrics about Mikeís life. Similarly, "Take It Easy" was written with Oliver Steffensen outta Denmark, briefly in Freak Of Nature, and has that old school Tramp flare. "Endless Highway" is a superb song about being on the road but really wanting to be home with family and friends, a song topic all good rockers should have in their repertoire. We also get the kick-ass "Donít Take My Rock Ní Roll," which features the classic line, "You can take all my money/You can take my fancy car/You can take the bed Iím sleeping in BUT donít you take my rock ní roll." Now thatís the Tramp philosophy we all know and love!
In the angst-ridden, get-on-with-your-life category, we get "Falling Down," which is about losing everything youíve got and trying to find your luck in a different place. In "Living A Lie" Tramp tells the story of a woman who wakes up one morning and realizes that her life is not what she wants it to be, so she packs her bags and leaves to be free. Tramp pines about not wanting to die in "Mr. Death," begging death to come back later when the time is right. "All Up To You" is about doing something with your life instead of sitting around on yer ass, while "Darkness" is a very down to earth, moody ballad about feeling very sad and thinking of how to get out of it. In "Do It All Over" Tramp cops to having made some wrong decisions in the past and wanting to do things differently the next time. Whew! That's a lot of pain to get through on one alabum.
"Always Tomorrow" wraps things up on a positive note though, saying that it doesnít matter how bad your life gets, it always can be good or better the next day Ė and thatís kind of message of the album as a whole. Itís not that Tramp is depressed or anything, in fact much of the music is straight up melodic hard rock like heís always done, itís just that he is clearly trying to tap into some delicate areas and emotions and deliver a more personal effort this time around...and ya certainly canít blame a guy for thatÖ