“Bill Popp: Solo” (121st Records)

  Being a staple in the New York music scene is no small feat, so you can only imagine one’s talent and dedication if they’ve been able to be a part of it for over 35 years. Bill Popp and The Tapes have done just that with as much passion and vigor as ever. Now, Bill Popp is going back to his roots — the solo route. Before The Tapes, Popp was a soloist playing at clubs all over the city, crooning and belting out songs that hit home to him and his audience. It’s been a long time coming, but this album features his best solo work and his most personal work to date, and it’s out in the world for everyone, including every New Yorker, to listen to and enjoy.

  Bill Popp: Solo is a mix of soulful pop music and piano driven alternative rock. Imagine the British Invasion in 2018. That is what this is. It’s a simple record with stunning melodies and twinkling notes to help the intimate, storyteller-esque lyrics truly get driven home. Songs like “One Door Slams” and “Love and Lust” are Billy Joel meets David Bowie meets REM. Yet, songs such as “Sucker for a Pretty Face” and “When I Was Stoned” are more The Beatles meets The Bangles. All of the songs off this solo album take the best of his vocals and pair them with the enthusiasm found in songs and performances done by Bill Popp and The Tapes.

  What inspired this album seems to be perseverance and creativity, nostalgia and poetry; all of which fits together in a timeless, effortless way. Maybe it is the extensive touring and the live shows that gave Popp a knack for beats and lyrics that speak to people, but whatever it was, he sets a scene with his songs. All he needs is a piano and a knack for writing stellar, clever lyrics… and lucky for us, he has both.