May 14, 2018 Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – Glamping (EP Review)
Nostalgic glitter rains down from the heavens when Roger Joseph Manning Jr. takes the stage on his brand new Glamping EP, which arrives to your excited ears – as well as CD, purple vinyl, and digital download – on Friday, May 18, 2018, thanks to Label Logic. Bonus for Manning fans: on this same day, you can also pick up a re-released Deluxe Edition (CD/digital download) of 2006’s Land of Pure Imagination with three bonus tracks included.
Roger Joseph Manning Jr. has led a fruitful and diverse musical career for nearly thirty years in an industry suffering from severe ADHD. A singer-songwriter, keyboardist, session player, arranger, producer and more, Manning has toured the world for the past 22 years as keyboardist, backing vocalist, and collaborator with friend Beck, that artistically insane madman of the most genius sonic proportions.
In his own sonic adventures, Manning has also been a member of such noteworthy bands as Jellyfish, Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook, and more, all while contributing keyboards to hundreds of Pop/Rock albums; playing on numerous films and TV soundtracks; composing for commercials and radio spots; enjoying a long run as a remixer; and touring extensively with other artists. He has worked with the likes of Adele, Marilyn Manson, Eric Clapton, Morrissey, Johnny Cash, Lana Del Rey, Interpol, Blink-182, Cheap Trick, and many, many more.
On his PledgeMusic page for his personal music projects, including the Glamping EP, Manning muses: “It’s been 24 years since Jellyfish last harmonized, 22 since Imperial Drag last rocked, 21 since The Moog Cookbook synthesized, 15 since TV Eyes electrified, 11 since Malibu computerized, and 10 since my last solo album, Catnip Dynamite, had you all singing and drumming along unashamedly behind the steering wheel of your car. And still, my fans are right here with me, waiting patiently in support of my next move.”
Appreciative of his fans’ undying support and his continuing ability to bring new music into this world, Manning is now poised to present the four-song, self-produced Glamping EP. While the collection might be short, it is indeed sweet. Here, a heavy Beatles’ influence permeates the vintage Funk-fest of “Operator,” a glittering little sashay born of the ‘70s and even earlier sonic notions. He goes Cheap Trick for the rocking beat of “Funhouse,” while the vintage nostalgic heart continues for the gentle bop of the synth-heavy “Is It All A Dream?”
Ultimately, Manning’s sweetly soaring vocals are highlighted by the gentle piano accompaniments at the core of “I’m Not Your Cowboy,” with a cinematic feel that leaves behind visuals of dust-strewn streets and a parting of ways. It all builds to an epic closing number, at just over six minutes, that almost seems to require closing credits rolling by the eyes to bid the fondest of farewells. That is, just for now!
A four song collection cannot offer up much other than a whetting of the appetite, and on the Glamping EP, Roger Joseph Manning shows that he is living in a rose-colored, vintage-happy world of sonic delights that range from Glam to Power Pop, Cheap Trick to the Beatles. His influences are classic – and so is his sound – but there is a lovely wink to the modern that promises that Manning is a tribute to a better past and not a fruitless chase of faded glory. For these reasons, CrypticRock give Roger Joseph Manning’s Glamping EP 3.5 of 5 stars.