REVIEW: Ron Pope’s “Bone Structure” is Always Catchy with Hidden Depth


Some singers need an orchestra on which to soar while others need simply an acoustic guitar; on Bone Structure’s opening track Ron Pope proves he’s one of the latter. “Flesh of my Flesh” opens this collection and draws the listener in with its immediacy and intimacy – bare bones acoustic guitar accompanies a graveled vocal; a fly on the wall feeling takes hold as the listener is allow into the room with a man finding strength just before his breaking point. Out March 6 via Brooklyn Basement Records, Bone Structure finds Pope building on his past strengths while pushing into new territories; always catchy with hidden depth to a lyrical playfulness Bone Structure will make a bid to keep your player on repeat.

“We’ve all got bad habits, have some damn good times…we probably should know better by now, but old habits die hard, we’re still walking around,” he sings on lead single, “Habits”, over a bevy of acoustic guitars, chunky mandolin, drifting dobro, and haunting fiddle. Horns join the mix on “Practice What I Preach” while multipart harmonies demand attention on “San Miguel” while kicking up dust on this road ready rocker. The title track, “Bone Structure”, is built over running piano lines and evokes imagines of a slightly less scruffy latter day Paul Westerberg. “Your bone structure made it so I couldn’t see you were indifferent to me,” Pope sings as he ponders why he falls for an arguably awful yet beautiful woman, “your bone structure was more striking to me than all your lack of empathy,” he continues. “You spit champagne through your front teeth, slapped my face, and laughed like a lunatic…you cut right through me,” he pines as he reminisces.

“Dodge Aries Wagon” swings with soulful horns over a good time groove that would be at home on Beale or Bourbon Street, “drove a 1983 Dodge Aires Wagon with no AC…on our way back to the garden state…it takes one to know one and I know you, so don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do”. “Don’t play dumb to comfort fools…what’s the point of being loved if you got to live a lie?” Pope wonders. “Back Together Again” finds Pope embracing the mournful accompanied by lullaby piano, “So if we’re keeping score, how much does this count, and if I can’t afford is there a discount?” he questions. “Legacy of Sadness” closes the record with a hollow arrangement of guitar and vocals with a hint of pedal steel similar to the records opening statement. “Just cause you were not invited to the party don’t mean you can’t dance when they put on your song,” Pope sings. And, with that gem of wisdom, Ron Pope’s Bone Structure closes on a wave of conviction; “it is easier for me to count my blessings, than to cry for every single thing we’ve lost.”


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