|Mike Tramp - 'Cobblestone Street'|
Mike Tramp - acoustic guitar & vocals
Soren Andersen - guitar, piano, keyboards, bass, drums & harmonica
1.) "Cobblestone Street" - This intro opens with the ambient noise of people walking and cars going by. The musical intro opens with an acoustic guitar rhythm. the opening musical verse Soren begins playing a very simple piano arrangement. Mike used the same acoustic guitar rhythm for the musical verse as the one for the intro. Underneath the acoustic guitar of the pre-chorus Soren plays an electric guitar rhythm that was very similar to the acoustic guitar rhythm Mike was playing. There are a couple lead guitar licks underneath the musical arrangement of the chorus. There isn't a backing harmony until the last chorus section.
2.) "Caught In The Storm" - This track opens with a keyboard arrangement. After one measure Mike kicks-in an acoustic guitar arrangement. One measure after the acoustic guitar kicks-in a second one begins. The acoustic guitar arrangements are stereo split. The first acoustic guitar is coming out of the left speaker and the second guitar is coming out of the right. Mike used the same acoustic arrangement of the verse for the musical verse. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus. The last lyric line consisted of a couple vocal accents. There is a bass line for the musical chorus. The chorus consisted of mike double-tracking his backing vocals. There is a drum line kick-in for the second verse. Underneath mike's vocal lines of the second verse Soren plays several lead guitar licks. The choruses had a huge mike Tramp hook.
3.) "New Day" - The guitar riffs of this intro reminded me a lot of the seventies one hit wonders. Underneath the amplified acoustic guitar arrangement there is a second acoustic guitar arrangement. After two measures the drum and bass line kick-in. There is a small rhythm change for the opening chorus. There is a rhythm change for the musical verse. Underneath the acoustic guitar arrangement there is a electric guitar riff that had a Country Music feel. After I believe the third or fourth chorus there was a very short lead guitar solo. Most of the songs consisted of choruses.
4.) "Ain't The Life I Ask For" - This track opens with five lyric lines. The musical intro opens with an harmonica arrangement over the top of an acoustic guitar arrangement. Mike used the same rhythm guitar arrangement of the pre-verse as the verse. There was a rhythm guitar change for the pre-chorus. There is a small musical rest between the first verse and the second verse. For the third verse Soren plays a harmonica arrangement. Underneath the lead lyric lines of the coda there is a backing vocal.
5.) "Revolution" -There is a short lead guitar lick over the top of the acoustic guitar of this intro. There is a very simple rhythm guitar change for the musical verse and chorus. There is a piano arrangement connecting the first verse with the second chorus. In the middle of the piano arrangement Mike sings "revolution". Throughout the second verse underneath the acoustic guitar there are little lead guitar runs. After the third chorus there was a short breakdown section that lead to a lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.
6.) "We'll Be Alright" - This intro opens with a whole-note being played on a keyboard. Not long after the keyboard begins Mike starts playing a acoustic guitar arrangement. The guitar arrangement had a Pink Floyd feel to it. Mike used the same rhythm for the verse as the intro. There is a backing vocal harmony underneath Mike's vocals of the pre-chorus. There are times on the lyric lines that really shows Mike's vocal talent.
7.) "Angel Or Devil" -This track opens with a short keyboard effect before Mike kicks-in an acoustic guitar arrangement. About two measures into the intro Soren begins playing a bass drum kick. Mike just tweaked the acoustic rhythm guitar for the musical verse. There is a small rest connecting the verse with the pre-verse. After the first chorus there is a lead guitar solo. Leading into the second chorus the guys kick the song in with a drum-line.
8.) "Find It In Heart" - This song had a seventies sound to it.
9.) "What Are U Gonna Do" - This track is a very simple track lyrically and musically.
10.) "Once" -This track consisted of several different keyboard styles underneath Mike's vocal lines.
11.) "When The Children Cry" (exclusive 2013 acoustic version) - This is the third single and 10th and final track on their 1987 album 'Pride'. The single peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, #7 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and #88 in the UK in early 1989. As good as this is there is nothing better than the original!!!!!
This was the first solo release of Mike Tramp's that I not only have had the pleasure of reviewing but it is also the first I've ever heard. Since last week when I first stepped onto the 'Cobblestone Street' that Mike Tramp built I wasn't surprised at all that the songs were more on the acoustic side than hard rock side of music.
Unlike White Lion or any other Mike Tramp project the songs on this release are what I like to call songwriter songs. They're stripped down and raw much like the songs Neil Young writes. Which for the musician and or songwriter this was a beautiful thing. But for the mid to late eighties and early nineties White Lion fan forget it! I would have to go back listen and analyze Mike's lyric writing style but I don't think any of the songs he wrote with White Lion resembles any of the songs on this CD. 'Cobblestone Street' shows the diverse writing style that Mike has.
Though I really liked 'Cobblestone Street' it's hard for me to tell the fans of Blast Magazine to purchase this release. This is due to the fact I think most of our fans are going to expect more of a White Lion style album. Especially with Mike also writing and recording songs under the moniker of White Lion (though he's the only original member).