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Cody Lee Dopps
The Blue Nine Records

Long ago, when records were the medium of choice, seven songs would be all that was expected to be a proper full-length album. These days, it seems funny to say album rather than EP when you’re referring to such a minimal amount of music on a 72-minute CD. If there were a medium of choice for Cody Lee Dopps though, it would certainly be vinyl. Dopps’s sound lays somewhere between the under produced indie sound you would find on blank label 7" recording and the over produced, digitally inclusive sounds that major label artists are trying to perfect.

Seven songs or not, Dopps’s sophomore effort venture into the recording world feels like an album. One big, cohesive concept of music that’s not meant as an in-between recording or a "let me get a product out there before I deliver the REAL goods" type of recording. I will say that if the intent of this release is that of an EP, a sampling of what’s to come, Cody Lee Dopps will be one to watch out for.

The singer-songwriter tradition of slow ballads exists in Dopps’s world, unapologetically. Dopps seems to enjoy the idea of taking it slow, coaxing you into a relaxed state of ponderous reverence. "An American Standard", the first track on Trajectory/Interference is a slow waltz into a mesh of lo-fi, folk and heavy beat. The Beta Band would only be so proud to fuse these genres so elegantly. With a catchy, melodic chorus that stays in your head, it serves as the perfect introduction to Dopps’s style. You know a straight acoustic number will show up on the CD. It’s just a matter of when. Like I said, Dopps unapologetically embraces his function in the music world.

And on track 3, he serves it up. "Excerpts From The Diary Of A Sandpounder" delivers the rough, isolated and gritty acoustic number. Sure to be a crowd favorite among Dopps’s fan base, it’s delivered with a boldness that will either succeed or horribly fail. Dopps seems to know his abilities and his confidence servers him well. The song is a stand out, simply because it takes balls to be a man and a guitar and put it out there for better or worse. In this case, it’s definitely better.

Follow that up with a feedback, echo, beat and bass heavy track called "The Moment Before I Die", and you know Dopps really doesn’t give a shit what you think. Either you’re on the level of this album or you’re never going to get it. This could prove to hurt Dopps by alienating him from anyone other than audiophiles. The dramatic style shifts will seem to come out of nowhere for those who only listen with half an ear. Ultimately, Dopps comes off sounding like an expert in styles and melody and the listeners who can pick up the subtleties in his work will be rewarded with a stunning canvas of sound.

All that said, Dopps’s lyrics tend to appear half-hearted and don’t measure up to the emoting of the music itself. While the stories he weaves are good (actually, better than most of what you hear on the radio) and project emotion, one is left to wonder if the same person who’s manipulating and persuading your emotion with his music is the same man who’s writing these almost pedestrian lyrics. The gripe is petty and can be easily overlooked and, to be honest, wouldn’t be an issue if the music wasn’t so damn good.

As the album closes, you know without looking at a bio or knowing anything about Dopps, that he lives in a snowy world. Trajectory/Interference is the musical equivalent to laying drunk on the floor by a fire while a blizzard comes down outside. Does the reference sound to obscure? Check it out and there will be no question as to its truth.

-Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

  1. An American Standard
  2. Actually Ashley
  3. Excerpts From The Diary Of A Sandpounder
  4. A Moment Before I Die
  5. Boomerang Boy
  6. Your Blue Satellite
  7. Stuttertone

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