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Tramp, Mike - 2004 Songs I Left Behind

Mike Tramp - vocals, guitar, bass
Kasper Damgaard - guitar
Kenny Korade - guitar
Todd Wolfe - guitar
Steve Lukather - guitar
John Wesley - guitar
Nicholas Findsen - bass
Jerry Best - bass
Kenni Andi - drums
Robert Jolly - drums
Kasper Foss - drums
Mark Prator - drums

Mike Tramp has never been my cup of tea, through White Lion, Freak Of Nature and his solo work, although I think it is the fault of White Lion covering 'Radar Love' all those years back, which led me to reviling Golden Earring's original! Tramp has managed to carve an impressive niche for himself without relying on past glories (up until 2005 anyway), and this collection comprises a weighty amount of tracks that Tramp shelved over the years before polishing them off before he embarked on recording new material. Anyone hoping for scraps of White Lion shouldn't look here as the modern rock approach delivered to these songs has nothing in common with the 80's. Supposedly culled from the 1992-2002 era, I suspect this would have been a more worthwhile venture if Tramp had kept the original spirit of the various years these were recorded in.

The Songs
A lot to wade through, and in all honesty this is tough listening on occasion. The tracks have the same radio friendly modern pop/rock feel throughout, more in keeping with what Bon Jovi calls rock music these days, not to mention terminal shockers The Goo Goo Dolls. Tramp attempts a few heavy tracks, namely 'I'll Be There' and 'One For Anger, Two For The Pain', but when I mean heavy, I use the term loosely. There simply is more riff action than what else surrounds it, which is significantly dull. Low key and dreary, it appears Tramp was desperate to reinvent himself as a stone faced pop artist. 'Sometimes' has some redeeming melodies within, but that jangly guitar work is hard to get past. This is remarkably similar to what Bret Michaels was trying to do on his 'Songs Of Life' CD a few years ago. 'Love Won't Wait On Me' given proper treatment could pass as AOR, but that pained Americanised vocal style is a little too much to bear I'm afraid. If there's one song that's surely from 1992 it's the power ballad 'I Won't Walk Away', while the grunge riffs of 'Show Me' are a notch above all else on the disc. The guitar solo during 'Think About The Times' is fairly emotional, but by now Tramp's tortured wailing is cause for concern. Who is this? Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen or worst of all.. Bono?

In Summary
Tramp undertook a tour of the US in early 2005 under the banner Mike Tramp and White Lion, with Tramp the only original member. A nod to his past, but a pretty half hearted one. There's nothing in my eyes that AOR fans could really be satisfied with on this ramshackle collection. I was vocal in my displeasure of Bon Jovi when they made this move, and Mike Tramp is no exception. What's wrong with giving these songs a touch up using a proper hard rock or melodic coating? Inevitably the lack of variety in the sound leads every track to almost be a copy of each other. Only hardcore Tramp fans would be eating this up, anyone else would be advised to give this a wide berth..


Track Listing:
01 Sometimes
02 Do It While You Can
03 Over And Out
04 Love Won't Wait On Me
05 If I Was Real
06 One For Anger, Two For Pain
07 Before The Night
08 I Won't Walk Away
09 Show Me
10 I'll Be There
11 I Don't Believe Anymore
12 What If I
13 Love Me Somebody
14 Think About The Times
15 Falling Down
16 Darkness

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 30 2008 09:40:25
The best thing Mike has ever been involved with musically has been Freak Of Nature. They were a fantastic live band too,

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