Album Review: Mo Troper—’Exposure & Response’
Posted: by The Editor
“Rock and Roll Will Change The World” is one hell of a way to start off an album. Earlier this year White Reaper made their claim as The World’s Best American Band, writing an album chock full of guitar solos and stadium sized choruses that evoke an era when rock and roll dominated the charts. But in 2017, rock stars have all but disappeared. The brilliance of “Rock and Roll Will Change The World” is that it’s meant to be read as tongue-in-cheek. Exploding with a beautiful backdrop of ornate and delicate vocal harmonies, Troper chews up and spits out the idea that there’s some “deeper meaning” hiding behind his music. Exposure & Response is a tour de force; one that is not meant to be dissected and pieced back together. Instead, it’s 30 minutes of unforgettable melodies and power-pop glory, a pessimistic look at society through a sugar-coated lens.
Album highlight “Your Brand” perfectly encapsulates all of the things that make Exposure & Response such an engrossing listen. Featuring a flourishing arrangement of horns and strings, Troper calls out an entire generation of self-absorbed and entitled assholes that lament tragedies for their own benefit. Likewise, he mocks the upper-middle-class and their penchant for overpriced educations on “Big School”. “Tow Truck” tells the story of a seemingly insignificant mishap, “I ruined your big night to remember/By parking in front of your garage door,” but his delivery is rife with emotion, making the stakes seem much higher than they actually are. Nobody is safe from becoming Troper’s punching bag, himself included.
“Clear Frames” plays like a distant cousin to “No One Else” by Weezer, with Troper indulging in his own jealous behavior and throwing a pity party. On “Waiting Room” he sings, “You realize that you might lose your mother/None of your fake problems prepared you for this.” It’s his most personal song to date, a gut-wrenching and emotionally devastating note to close on. Exposure & Response is the end product of an anxious fatalism you just can’t shake, an album for a generation that’s tired of wondering if things are ever going to get better.
Michael Brooks | @nomichaelbrooks