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
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.
- An American Standard
- Actually Ashley
- Excerpts From The Diary Of A Sandpounder
- A Moment Before I Die
- Boomerang Boy
- Your Blue Satellite
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