Home»Sound»The Questionable Overall Satisfaction One Gets from the Shelf-Life of “Twinkie Lips”: Reviewing JD Rogers’ Latest Full Length Disc

The Questionable Overall Satisfaction One Gets from the Shelf-Life of “Twinkie Lips”: Reviewing JD Rogers’ Latest Full Length Disc

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JD Rogers is a rocker. He originally hails from the “heartland,” just outside of Indianapolis. I don’t know how old he is or how many albums he’s released before “Twinkie Lips,” but when listening to this music, I can tell he’s been around the block a few times. His singing voice reminds me of Roy Orbison or maybe Iggy Pop; weathered and wise. The songs are enjoyable enough; JD’s musical chops, technically-speaking, are admirable. Undeniable. But all that said, I didn’t quite get the feeling that he challenged himself enough to make a really good record this time around, or one that says something new. I was left wanting. 

There are very few risks or experimentation here. The album is straight-forward “what you would expect” rock. Content-wise, JD relies on too many “doo doo doo’s” and “oh oh oh’s” so that, by the fourth song, they start to sound like filler. The background vocals occasionally wane towards having poor production quality, and the lyrics are sometimes a tad trite. Although this is a full-length, it’s only ten tracks and clocks in at under 36 minutes, making it feel like there was a stretch to ensure the album would meet bare minimum requirements to earn the title of full length. 

The album contains songs about going after your dreams, overcoming fear and loneliness, and searching for true love, which makes it all the more incredulous that the album is entitled “Twinkie Lips.” I can only suspect that the reason could have to do with the idea of maximizing on the potential novelty single status of the title track, which is the one that JD promotes. (It can be found on RVM’s 2019 compilation CD of local artists.) 

CD Baby lists JD’s work as “90s Rock,” which doesn’t exactly sum things up when describing the genre category he fits in. Sure, there’s crunchy sandpaper grunge effects in moments of “Bleeding for You,” but there’s also occasional snippets of high pitched glam metal on the album, ala MTV 80s hair bands.

“Twinkie Lips” truly is the stand-out track here. JD delights in this hedonistic romp at the fair where he lecherously describes taking in a feast for all the senses. When he shouts euphorically “It’s fried with cream inside!” at the end of the third verse, one can’t help but chuckle a little. Other parts of the album have moments where JD shows us that he can be fun too, but this one takes the cake. 

Musically as well, “Twinkie Lips” is one of the most intriguing tracks on the album. The intro guitars really sound like they’re fueling up for something rather sinister, but their sound quickly dissolves into a casual stroll through the fairgrounds. The guitar solo melds into a quick modulation up followed by a brief silence before JD lunges into the third verse. In this track and “Follow the Crow,” JD holds out guitar notes and lets them hang there vibrating for a moment before going to the next one. 

After hearing the track “Twinkie Lips,” I was curious about what to expect from songs entitled “Lick It,” “Show Me,” and “Tell Me What You Like,” but they all ended up being somewhat PG-13 or tamer; some not even being carnal in nature as their title suggests. 

JD ends the disc with the only truly slow tune, “Could You Be the One.” If Pink Floyd had an uncle that tried his hand at writing a romantic ballad, this is what it would sound like.   

Basically, this album is a lot like the dessert it celebrates. It’s simple. On the surface level, it’s appealing enough, but it’s no double mocha almond fudge cake. 

“Twinkie Lips” by JD Rogers is available for purchase at store.cdbaby.com

 

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