Trampled By Turtles
Trouble


4.5
superb

Review

by Phil G. USER (9 Reviews)
February 26th, 2012 | 16 replies | 3,443 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: blue-grass re-hash

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Trouble is the third album from Trampled by Turtles, a Duluth, Minnesota outfit. Trouble features notable improvements on the genre of bluegrass music despite its being billed as “traditional bluegrass.”

Traditional bluegrass music features the best of gospel music and folk music, and its influences can be seen in early rock and roll. Despite similarities to other genres, bluegrass music is unique and separate.

A typical bluegrass outfit features five instruments – fiddle, upright bass, mandolin, acoustic guitar, and banjo. The center piece of the bluegrass band – aside from the vocalist – is the mandolin. The mandolin player is generally the band leader (after Bill Monroe's example), though each instrument has its own niche. Responsibilities for vocals are shared, and more than one member of the band is expected to vocalize with the rest of the group and on their own depending on the song choice.

Among the more traditional bluegrass numbers are “Valley” “Arming of Infants” "Like An Empty House" and “Stranger.” “Valley” directly references a favorite theme of bluegrass music, the valley. (The significance of the valley is different in different bluegrass songs, but the valley motif itself is present in many different generations of bluegrass music.)

Trouble features three instrumental pieces “Ceiling Slide” “Tap the Kitchen Floor” and “Spoiler,” all of which are in the style of the traditional bluegrass classics “Old Mountaineering Man” and “The Orange Blossom.” These songs feature banjo and fiddle solos as well as a solo by the mandolin, but the mandolin figures most prominently in each of these songs for its “singing,” almost ringing, bell-like qualities.

Trouble is different from traditional bluegrass music (in places) in that it features 1) slowed down tempo 2) less prominent mandolin instrumentation in favor of a more prominent male lead vocal part 3) drum percussion in place of slapped upright bass and 4) electric guitar and bass on a few songs. “Who’s Calling?” is an example of how Trampled by Turtles has updated the genre to fit into the 21st century using this formula. “Never Again” is a satirical song for the 21st century schizoid man in all of us, with lyrics like:

I’ll never write another song again
‘Cause they all sound the same
And I should be ashamed
And I’m breaking my guitar
As soon as I get home

I’ll never have another drink again
Because I woke up on the floor
I can’t remember anymore
And it’s going down the drain
As soon as I get home

Never again
Never again

I’ll never smoke another cigarette
‘Cause it smells like ***
I can’t afford to pay for it
And I’ll break ‘em in half
As soon as I get home

I’m never gonna fall in love again
‘Cause they’ll break you in two
And there ain’t nothing you can do
And I’m unplugging my phone
As soon as I get home

Never again
Never again

So on and so forth… Trouble (album) is simultaneously a rehash, an update, and an improvement on traditional bluegrass. Its name-sake song “Trouble” is perhaps the best here, though it is markedly different from traditional bluegrass in many respects (see the list above for clarification of these differences).

Though bluegrass originated elsewhere by its father Bill Monroe, bluegrass has found a home in Minnesota. To illustrate this point, consider that in their movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Joel and Ethan Coen featured bluegrass music as a central part of the plot line, in addition to “Man of Constant Sorrow” popularized by the Minnesota artist Bob Dylan. Trampled by Turtles is another Duluth, Minnesota artist that has popularized the genre, again.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Salvation is a good, good friend

balcaen
February 26th 2012



3183 Comments


i like turtles

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fuck yeah, zombie kid likes turtles

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I'll never write another review again
'Cause

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2012



3374 Comments


Nice review, I gotta check this out :D

Digging: Amplifier - Mystoria

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

one thing about bluegrass... took me a couple listens live to like it.. but i like it now, so there

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2012



3374 Comments


this is great haha. also, pos

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

bluegrass

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
February 26th 2012



3374 Comments


yeah but after 9 or 10 tracks it becomes harder to enjoy because it's basically the same sound. I stopped listening to it after Never Again. I'll pick it up later

Crumby
February 26th 2012



86 Comments


props on reviewing this. actually really like these guys. but there's more bluegrass than just these guys and the traditional artists. and i'm not sure why bob dylan is mentioned because he did not write man of constant sorrow nor was his recording of it used for o brother where art thou.

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I mentioned Mn bluegrass musicians in the recommended section... also, Bob Dylan and Joel and Ethan Coen are from MN

didn't know about Bob Dylan not writing that song... makes sense. Fix'd (hopefully). Thanks for the feedback.

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

MN musicians except for Bill Monroe, of course

Activista anti-MTV
February 26th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, I used traditional bluegrass, because that is the most specific genre tag I could've used here...

Trampled by Turtles definitely fits that classification, but in the review I explain how they are (a little different), but it is easy to overstate those differences and I might have in my haste to finish reviewing this. Not every Trampled by Turtles song is non-traditional bluegrass

Activista anti-MTV
December 20th 2012



3139 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

potsy gave this a 5

nice. me 2

illmitch
April 21st 2013



5429 Comments


band is so fucking good

i think i might like duluth a bit better tho



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