Album: Girl Like This, 2008
Artist: Laura Roppé
Where available/price: lauraroppe.com ($12 plus S&H), CDBaby.com ($12.97) or for download at iTunes ($9.99 for the full album, 99 cents per track), or Amazon.com ($7.99 album, 89 cents per track)
Songs: 1) Girl Like This 2) Mama Needs a Girls Night Out 3) Float Away 4) Free 5) You Don’t ASK 6) Little Daughter 7) Fly Fly Fly 8) Ooh La La 9) Come to Me 10) Sing a Love Song 11) Crazy About You and Me 12) Can’t Take It Back
Band: Laura Roppé (vocals), Marc Intravaia (guitar), Matthew Embree (guitar, percussion), Rick Nash (bass), Bob Sale (drums), Sharon Whyte (keyboard, organ), Dennis Caplinger (violin, mandolin, banjo, Dobro guitar), Jennifer Argenti (violin), Crystal Keith (vocals), Tiffanie Kasner (vocals), Lesley Ballard (vocals), Lucy Arnold (vocals), Allyson Aabram (vocals), Marnie Skeen (vocals), Heather Dugdale (vocals), Liz Odle (vocals), Denise Luna (vocals), Jeri Farrar (vocals)
Do you do something original? Do you do something traditional but you’re one of few who do it? Do you do something exceptional? There are no new musical notes, that’s true. Do you play or sing any of those known notes in any of the manners inquired about above (exceptional and original being the most esteemed)?
If so, wonderful! Great things await. If not, that’s fine. If you’re a journeyman singer and you have an adequate band you can fit your time-tested lyrics into standard templates and crank out songs like license plates; every one a little bit different, but all essentially identical. You have the privilege to make a CD of what you do because you like it and because your friends like it.
Enter Laura Roppé. Roppé sings “new country” music in the form that helicoptered into the stadium in Garth Brooks’s ugly-shirt pocket and has since stayed. Her band plays the songs competently. Her lyrics seem to be plucked from inspirational posters and the stickers on tailgates. (From the song “Little Daughter”: “If you break it you buy it/ Pay your debts and don’t be late/ If you do something wrong, admit and learn from your mistakes/ Learn to play piano so your voice can soar and shine.”)
If you don’t enjoy that particular genre (girl country tinged with mid-century rock), the songs can be particularly grating. If you do enjoy the music, Laura and her band are, in short, “extra medium.”
To get your local CD reviewed, please mail it to: Music Editor, Hometown CDs, San Diego Reader, P.O. Box 85803, San Diego, CA 92186-5803