John Pippus seems to be a man that defies convention. His latest effort Wrapped Up In The Blues covers ideas ranging from serious to superficial to downright silly. The album covers a fascinating amount of thematic and stylistic ground, and its method is as eclectic as the subject matter.
Pippus’ performance explores a sparse, largely acoustic take on blues rock, and the staple of the album is a familiar blend of guitar and harmonica. However, this cozy fallback is pockmarked with Pippus’ own stubbornly independent interjections. At times, a song may drop off into a sudden interlude of Pippus vocally (and humorously) interpreting a slow and deliberate blues lick. At others, whole songs break the mould, as evidenced by the heavily autotuned final track.
Throughout the album, I couldn’t help thinking that, instead of singing the blues, Pippus is singing about the blues. He seems to be using blues rock to comment on the musical scene around him, and exploits it to interesting effect. However, while exploring a very interesting concept, at times Pippus does risk confusing the listener with his myriad of twists and turns through the journey of the album.
In the end, Wrapped Up In The Blues is an ambitious project that may be lacking just a bit in terms of polish and focus, but makes up for it in heart and originality. If nothing else, this album is fun. I swear, the last few seconds of the final song put a huge smile on my face.
The Review: 7.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Preachin’ Blues
– Airplane Woman
– Walk Away
The Big Hit
– Walk Away
Review by Tyler Quiring