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Joe Tripp and the Hops

Six Songs

Review by Gary Hill

I don’t know if the EP title is an example of over-stating the obvious or truth in advertising. Somehow it feels clever, though. This EP does, in fact include six songs. The range of sounds on them is pretty wide. The whole EP, though, probably fits best under a mainstream pop music banner. This is great stuff, though. Everything is effective. It’s just that some songs are more effective than others are.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
There's Something

There really is something about this song. The multilayered vocals are classy. The cut has some funk in the mix along with more of a modern alternative pop sound. It has some soul built into it, too. It’s a compelling tune all the way around.

This one has some reggae in the arrangement. Some of the keyboard fills here lend an almost progressive rock tone. Some of the vocals have a megaphone delivery approach, but at a distance. This feels a bit like Madness, but blended with the same kinds of sounds we heard on the opening number.
There is much more of a raw hard rock vibe here. The cut has a lot of energy and a real emo meets Madness kind of element at play. There’s a noisy little guitar jam mid-track followed by a drop back to more of those megaphone vocals. This is catchy and fun.
Heart Cries Out

This is a mellower tune. It has more of a jazzy groove. Still, it’s also got sort of a jam band thing. The vocals bring some R&B and some reggae to the table.

Let Go
Reggae and jazz collide as this piece opens. Although those elements remain throughout, the prevailing concept lands closer to a mainstream pop rock vibe. There are some hints of punky energy in this, too. I love the melodic guitar soloing on it. The vocal arrangement is among the most complex and effective here. This is a great song. In fact, it might be my favorite of the bunch.
Who Knows

A mellower number, this one has a lot of jazz in the mix. It’s a good cut that’s sort of part jazz, part modern pop and part jam band. It’s just not the kind of thing that really jumps out at the listener. For that reason I question the wisdom of closing the set with it. In fact, I think I would have switched spots with this and “Let Go.” Still, it’s only a minor quibble.

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