Artist: Edward Rogers
Album: Glass Marbles
Label: Zip Records
Release Date: 03/11/2016
He’s the perfect singer/songwriter, the ideal personification of Brit Rock superiority. On his new album, Glass Marbles, English expatriate Edward Rogers demonstrates yet again why any and every new project to which he attaches his name ought to be considered a reason for cheer. It’s been that way practically since the beginning, starting with his early chamber pop outfit Bedsit Poets and continuing on through a series of solo albums that have defined him as a master of classic pop song craft and an appropriately astute delivery. Rogers makes no mystery of his influences — Bowie, Kevin Ayers and the Zombies take center stage on the list of those that he admires — but with his precise delivery and a cast and crew that features some of the Northeast’s finest — James Mastro (Bongos), Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks, Cracker), Dennis Diken (The Smithereens), John Ford (Strawbs), Pete Kennedy (The Kennedys), Dave Schramm (Schramms), Konrad Meissner (Silos), and returning producer Don Piper, among them — the polish, variety, interest and intrigue becomes uniquely his own.
Likewise, given the fact that Rogers himself had a hand in writing every one of these 18 (!) songs, Glass Marbles is really a credit to his own proficiency. Rogers’ sometimes scratchy vocals becomes a distinctive element in itself, a combination of a wizened Bob Dylan, the authority of Graham Parker and, natch, the essential Englishness of David Bowie. Consequently, shimmering, songs like “Broken Wishes on Display,” “I’m Your Everyday Man” and “The World of Mystery” recall the quaintly classic sound of the early Kinks and others on the front lines of the British Invasion, while the stirring “Bright Star” resonates with a resounding chorus that indeed Bowie and Parker would likely have been proud to claim as their own. Many of the songs reference places in his past — London’s Denmark Street,” “Blackpool Nights,” an “Olde House on the Hill et.al. — adding tot the album’s seemingly effortless charm. Likewise, sparkling melodies fill the set overall, making the album a sumptuous treat from start to finish. So why isn’t he a superstar, you ask? He’s well on his way is the logical reply.