Since the split of the Push Stars, one of Boston’s brightest pop bands of the past two decades, singer-songwriter Chris Trapper has developed into a prolific, captivating artist with a unique musical voice. His 10th solo record accentuates his unerring melodic instincts and thoughtful narrative skill. As the title suggests, the love songs here are postcards from the road, filled with yearning and devotion. The lyrics’ wounded soulfulness is grounded by the slightly weathered edge Trapper’s voice has acquired with age. The best songs (“Symphonies of Dirt and Dust”) are buoyed by his telling eye for details, wit, and subtly defined hooks. While a few of the acoustic-based tracks could use some electric-guitar punctuation, Jason Meeker’s unfussy production trusts the strength of the songwriting and smartly avoids manipulative sweetening. The outlier track “(Expletive) It” is wry and whimsical in tone, yet its disillusion with a world gone awry is genuine; the song’s compassionate, introspective core ultimately reveals the essence of Trapper’s appeal.
ESSENTIAL “Symphonies of Dirt and Dust”Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.