Are you hungry for meatier country rock tunes? On the lookout for something with more of a bite? Enter Evan Troop. His new five-song The Next Chapter, is a rolling mix of heavy guitars and evocative lyrics. Troop, a Dallas-based artist, flexes cracks in his hard outer shell with songs that paint the picture of a man wrestling with his own thoughts. Just the same, he invites the listener to be completely entertained with mini anthems. The Next Chapter starts and ends with fulfilling hits.
The first few sings, “Gone” and “My Time Now” quickly establish Troop’s penchant for strong guitar hooks. The guitar riffs echo the sounds from dare I say it — hair metal — but catapult the guitar to the modern rock arrangements that feel new. And all my dreams they come crashing down at night, Troop sings in “Gone”. He creates bold imagery — a vivid picture of the moments before slumber, replaying the day’s events, where he thinks of what if’s, what could be and why’s. As he sings of the sweet lover he’s lost, the song drifts deeper into his yearning. The guitar captures that spiral.
“My Time Now” kicks up the burning desires. Troop’s tune drips with rebellious guitar, as if the instrument were awoken after years of imprisonment. It’s not a scary sound, but again, an awakening. You can’t bring me down, he declares. His enthusiasm and conviction just as strong as ever — the man that served our country in the United States Navy transforms to the artist that has a pulse on the human condition.
“Slippin’ Away” and “Enemy” continue Troop’s unveilings. He pushes back the curtains. I think Troop subscribes to the artist’s playbook of giving the listener lyrics about his inner thoughts. I really appreciated this about him. In “Enemy”, especially, he strips away even more walls and has a whirlpool of emotions. Why am I my own worst enemy, he sings, in this all-too-relatable tale. My own imagination took me to picturing him writing that song not about relationships, but about his own career hesitations. Perhaps all the years spent serving the US in the Navy, and even after while he was studying for his degree at Southern Methodist University, he might be questioning the timing, or the off-the-beaten road that led him to music. I found myself wanting to explore his mental state more from this song, and at the same time, I was able to glean several moments that felt very familiar to my own journey.
“Your Man” the final track has Troop putting his heart out on the line. He wants to be the man that does the very best he can, and there’s something very trusting in his voice. It’s not a gushy romantic tune, but it is definitely romantic. Yet again, Troop showcases a different side to his personality. I think “Your Man” really shines.
In fact all the songs on The Next Chapter have a different way of hitting the light. Troop definitely has a patina, a characteristic tenor to his voice that adds richness to each tune. The Next Chapter is excellent.