(Good Cheer Records)
Previously, on Beloved, Mo Troper was in a fit of reconsidering what was going on in life, pouring out pieces of a heart that felt a bit cracked and lonely. The opening line on Gold finds Mo Troper stating, “go on and break my heart so I have something to talk about.” It’s a witty poke at the genre’s use of broken hearts as a source of creative energy, or maybe a philosophical need. Whatever it is, it opens up the record with fuzzy distortion and bouncing drums, grabbing the attention of the listener and anchoring them into Troper’s grasp for the next 27 minutes.
Gold works well for a distorted pop-rock record, establishing hooks to center the songs, with stories embedded in the lyrics belted aloud. “Border Patrol” has the imagery of realizing that where you once stood in a frame is replaced by someone else, spiraling through the inner workings of loss. “Polyanna” showcases Mo Troper’s brilliance in dedication for the crunchy sound, setting up sonic palettes with multiple motifs streamlining through the song. This is the soundscape for Mo Troper, and one that helps bring a rather organic vibe to Gold, hell bent on finding ways to lash out whatever feelings are within the brain of Troper.
But what is the beauty of Mo Troper also holds a small unease, with songs feeling a bit too erratic; off the deep end. It works in a song like “I Love You” or “Hadley” where Troper is near speechless in trying to even comprehend the feelings there. There’s a sense of charm in the free spirited structure to the writing, eventually realizing that the songs follow a distinct pattern of powerfully boasted melodies, but nothing else. Songs follow structural patterns that when stripped down are verse / chorus / verse / chorus. It’s a bit droning at times, especially when the lyrics in a chorus feel mundane to even be singing along with, especially with the verse lyrics being imaginative and clever. That’s why a song like “Hadley” stands out against the backdrop, not as much of a sore thumb but a vigorous extremity. Gold still has plenty of creative aspects to it that make it such a fun record. “The Short Side” is the wild closer to an album spinning on its head without ever needing to stop, because Mo Troper is just that kind of songwriter.
P.S. Looking back at it, I think Mo Troper has SO much to talk about that the opening line is a poke at me directly, what am I even writing about anymore? I’m not sure. Listen to this album.