Roger Joseph Manning Jr. – Glamping (EP Review)

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.

For SoCal fans, on Friday, May 17, Manning will be appearing at the GRAMMY® Museum as part of their “The Drop” program. He’ll be talking about his new music, his illustrious career, and performing a song or two, or three. For more info, please visit here.

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Jeannie Blue
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Jeannie likes to joke that she is little, yellow, blue, and different. She seemingly popped out of her mother's womb with a pen in her hand and has been writing ever since. Many moons ago - in what feels like a separate lifetime - Jean was co-editor of an online music magazine that afforded her great opportunities to interview and photograph some of her favorite bands/musicians: Tommy Lee, Good Charlotte, Warrant, Bring Me The Horizon, My Chemical Romance, Sevendust, New Found Glory, Deftones, Poison, VH-1 "Band On the Run" Flickerstick, an endless list of unsigned locals, and so many others. These days, she can usually be found hiking aimlessly through the woods in her favorite Technicolor sneakers with a Nikon in hand and her rescue dog, Molly, who is a bit hare-brained.

  • John Thomson
    Posted at 01:26h, 15 May Reply

    Given the tone of the article, I was surprised at only 3.5 stars. JT

    • Jeannie Blue
      Posted at 20:54h, 15 May Reply

      Hi John! I just felt that, as the EP is only 4 songs, it would be very hard to give it a perfect score when it’s such a small taste. That said, it’s a good small collection – I was merely leaving room for “improvement” when there’s a full-length. 🙂

  • OrionsAngel
    Posted at 23:22h, 23 December Reply

    By now all Roger fans know that almost every track he records is gonna have that melodic middle break that takes you on a whimsical journey to a land of pure imagination. Although it’s only 4 tracks. I love what we get here. Operator has an early 70’s vibes. I could listen to it all day. I’m not your Cowboy, builds up into a beautiful soulful track that gives me chills. Funhouse is a good track, but my least favorite here. The structure of the track is a little strange for me, but even my least favorite Roger track here is a good song for me. The stand out track here imo Is, Is it all a Dream. It’s a magical harmonious track that gives me goosebumps. The soothing back up singers give it a 70’s Carpenters vibe. Listening to it I imagine a green field and a beautiful garden and the sun shining brightly upon us all. It’s become one of my favorite tracks from Roger.

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