CD Review: Gregory Pepper and His Problems – With Trumpets Flaring

Gregory Pepper and His Problems
By: TJ Liebgott
August 13, 2009

In the opening track "7ths & 3rds" Gregory Pepper states, "I gave up on pop music," but nothing could be further from the truth.  Drawing upon influences of 70’s pop and theatrical acts like Queen, David Bowie and The Beatles, Gregory Pepper adds his own modern twist to the legendary artists.  Using techno and hip hop inspired stuttering vocals, modern production and danceable bass lines reminiscent of The Bravery, Gregory Pepper is able to add insight and freshness that branches him away from his influences.  It’s as if his mind contains an orgy of songs and artists over the past half a century and the bastard child that he gave birth to is the album With Trumpets Flaring.

It’s next to impossible to pick standout tracks on With Trumpets Flaring since they are all gems.  Personal favourites include "7ths & 3rds," "Drop The Plot," "It Must Be True," the comical doo-wop inspired song about suicide "If You Try" and the Beach Boysesque "There Were Dinosaurs."  I can guarantee that everyone will have their own unique personal favourites.

The only minor downside of With Trumpets Flaring is that it feels like every song ends prematurely.  The average song runs just over two minutes, which keeps things from getting stale or boring, but doesn’t always leave you completely satisfied.  I guess Gregory Pepper must be a true entertainer that follows the old adage "always leave the audience wanting more" because I cannot wait for his follow-up album.

TTTTT (Out of 5)

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