Album Review – Dilettante by Mo Troper (2021) (self released)

mOtROPERBAND

Mo Troper has never been short ideas and Dilettante, his fourth album, (perhaps?) presents the full array in an often breAthless rush of fuzzy, power pop creativity.
Across a massive 28 tracks of appropriately lengthed, largely sub-three minute tracks, this album feels perfectly unstructured and almost existentialist in they way that it juxtaposes all manner of left field and the downright obtuse, with the Portland man’s more recognizable, yet infinitely inimitable, lo-fi power-pop, in a manner that seems so gloriously ramshackle.
At it’s most erratic the release adds chiming fuzz to an Indian sitar pastiche, in the opening Total Euphoria, embarks upon a  half spoken word attack of faux friendship in All My Friends Are Venmo, whilst the slower tempo, less fuzz laden Sugar and Cream, I Would Dance With You and My Parrot have that isolated, weird introspection, that could have accompanied Juno on her opening movie scene ‘walk with the orange juice’. You know the perfect mixture of cultural The Moldy Peaches style cool, bedroom-pop and the slightly weird.
The album also excels with the other lower tempo tracks of The Expandables Rise Again, New King and Rejected Jingle, which feel like a Teenage Fanclub tribute act, that has found the twee-pop pedal. Of course, as with everything Troper-esque, extra nuances are added with 60s retro melodies and the muddiest of perfect production.
The very best of the album is seen frequently. Here Perfect Song, Quarter Beare, Better Than That, My Master’s Voice, Skycraper Sized Bong and Tears on my Dockers, represents the best of Troper signature sound, as he mixes a driven, fuzz absorbed foundation, with melodies that are constantly allowed to simper to the surface and a vocal delivery that has that ‘cool despite itself’, discordant quality.
Mo Troper just goes from strength to strength with every subsequent, increasingly ramshackle release and Dilettante, despite the stiff competition, is undoubtedly his best yet.

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