steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Jerry Chapman

"Rumors of my Death" 2CD


Genres: rock/pop, folk-rock, alt country

Jerry Chapman
4113 Gladstonbury Rd.
Winston Salem, NC

Jan 19 - 25 2004

Rumors of my Death is Jerry Chapman's sophomore album, and to celebrate the occasion he's included a bonus covers disc with each copy.  His style is very crisp, well-produced, and accessible - he specializes in pristine, folk-influenced rock that is somewhat similar to Chris Cacavas' work.

The songs on this album are of very high quality, not just in a recording and production sense, but also from a songwriting perspective.  Chapman is able to create enjoyable, radio-friendly tunes with seemingly no effort at all.  The disc's best moment comes six songs in with "Do Anything," a devilishly catchy pop tune with some excellent organ playing.  It's a laidback, moody song that could easily be on mainstream radio (though its five minute duration may call for a 'radio edit') - comparisons to Chris Cacavas' Bumbling Home From the Star can be made, though it also has a definite sixties/seventies influence.  "Last Call" is another one of Rumors' better songs; it sounds like it could be played at the heartwarming end of an unspectacular yet enjoyable movie.

The covers disc, entitled Dead Ringers, includes some interesting yet relatively faithful versions of tunes by The Smiths, Blue Oyster Cult, The Beatles, Styx, and more.  "Don't Fear The Reaper" is clearly a favourite, with its dreamy, moody delivery and blissful sound.  Meanwhile, his sinister rendition of Prince's dark "Sign o' the Times" also impresses, in all its gloomy glory.

Jerry Chapman's Rumors of my Death double-disc album is certainly worthwhile if you've got fifteen bucks to unload on music.  While it isn't perfect, most of the songs are quite enjoyable, and fans of straightforward singer/songwriter pop/rock will doubtlessly find much to fawn over.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 10 tracks, distributed by the artist, released 2003]