Ron Pope – Work

Album Review | Brooklyn Basement Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

Ron Pope’s presumed creed, a desire to work to live, rather than to live to work, as emphasised in this album’s title song, certainly seems to reflect a perfectly logical work ethic, yet with seven solo albums now under his belt in just fifteen years, there appears to be a contradiction in terms.  This singer songwriter indeed lives to do this.  Recorded at an analog studio for the first time, rather than digital studio, Work reflects Ron Pope’s life thus far with a collection of highly personal songs, some recorded almost as stripped down acoustic demos with no further embellishments, some arranged around his finely tuned band, each of the performances sounding both relevant and accomplished.  Produced by Ted Young at the Welcome to 1979 studio in Nashville, the album includes songs of a philosophical nature, the notion of a relatively young man pondering upon his own mortality in “Someday We’re All Gonna Die”, whilst reassuring us that his dancing days are not over yet by any means.  We get a sense that Ron Pope is very much here and still very much enjoying it, occasionally alluding to a more hedonistic lifestyle with the soul-filled rocker “Let’s Get Stoned”.  On perhaps the prettiest song on the album, The Weather, we hear a fabulous duet with Georgia singer Molly Parden, whose gentle harmonies add something relatively sweet to what is essentially already an easily accessible album.