Ron Pope is an American pop/rock singer-songwriter, from Georgia but now based in Nashville. He is also an artist that I absolutely love, and I cannot believe it has taken me so long to review any of his work. I think I first heard his music on the season three premiere of The Vampire Diaries, entitled The Birthday. I instantly fell in love with the song, which as it happens was ‘A Drop In The Ocean’ and since then that song and I have had quite the journey, and I am so glad to share a variety of tracks from Ron Pope with you today.
‘A Drop In The Ocean’ is just perfection, Pope’s voice is soft and has a relatively high register, he plays off the piano, keeping things simple and yet injecting every note and every chord with sincerity and depth. This song has all the hallmarks of a slow song, but it actually moderates the tempo very well, slower moments juxtaposed by more energised parts when he’s really belting it out. Honestly though this song just gives me chills, it’s just so powerful and overwhelming and I’m glad I’m a fan of The Vampire Diaries or I might never have heard it. Which reminds me, this song on top of just being an absolute belter is also very dear to me because for me and Tori B Bearly, it’s our song. We fell in love together with this song as a backdrop, it’s been a part of every big moment and when we tie the knot it will be the song that we dance our first dance to as husband and wife. I also suggest you check out the acoustic version of this track, it is a totally different but equally amazing experience, and you can check that out here.
‘One Grain Of Sand’ blends gentle guitar chords that build in intensity in direct correlation to the vocals. I touched on it before but Ron Pope has a voice that can handle higher notes well and man does he do it well. This track is a little faster overall than the previous one, it has a nice drive and energy and blends in percussion to the overall composition so well you don’t even notice it initially but when you do you recognise that it adds a subtle heaviness and additional depth to the track. I think what I like most about this track is the closing part as it almost fades out, the energy reaching a natural conclusion in an almost anticlimactic fashion.
‘Perfect For Me’ has a nice building note that only breaks as the guitar flows in, rich and homey, it works perfectly with Pope’s voice. This slows things down, and you really feel the delivery of each line. I think what I like most about Ron Pope’s music is just how raw and genuine it is. He’s clearly very talented and makes bittersweet melodies that still sound fresh when you’ve listened to them dozens if not hundreds of times, but yeah perhaps the most appealing aspect of his music is that honest quality and ‘Perfect For Me’ has it in spades. I love ‘A Drop In The Ocean’ as I said above, but because of the slightly catchier hook (in my opinion) this is the one I find myself singing from time to time.
‘Heartfelt Lies’ opens slow with gentle lilting guitar supporting his smooth, melodic vocals, and again you feel the depth and passion as he sings. Much like ‘Perfect For Me’ this is one that really sticks in your mind. It’s not even because it’s catchy so much as it’s just got a nice vibe and that’s what sticks in your head. I think this track has some of his best vocal contributions, there’s just a rich, tonal quality to his voice that really rings through in this track in particular.
‘You’re The Reason I Come Home’ I can’t really explain this beyond saying it, so please ask no further details, but something about the tone and melody of this track that reminds me of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. It borrows nothing from it really, but there’s just something in the back of my head that gets the same feeling when listening to it. Other than vague connections in my brain, this song is amazing, the specific version linked above is a live version, with all the ambient noise and it adds to the performance. Also you’ve heard studio versions and live versions of the artist now, you cannot tell me that he isn’t just a phenomenal performer.
‘Last First Kiss’ opens with light percussive and guitar that just builds creating a wonderful backdrop to this track. I think the drums added a lot to this track, just a little weight to counterpoint Pope’s vocals. It gave the entire track just that little extra bit of intensity and urgency. Also there are some truly fabulous guitar riffs towards the end that really give him a chance to shine as an instrumentalist as well as a singer.
‘Fireflies’ starts off big, with sweeping piano notes, building in a simple melody that flows throughout the song. Much like ‘Heartfelt Lies’ this track has some of my personal favourite vocal contributions, I mean every single word harnessing hope and pain and a hundred other complicated emotions and he just lays them bare.
‘If You Were A Stone’ closes off our list, this one incorporates a nice, slow, percussive beat that blends really well with the quicker paced guitar chords to create a complex melody. And while he had no way of knowing the song would one day appear in this review, or even its random placement on it, this track is such a phenomenal closer. It’s powerful and emotional, and has the perfect balance of raw feeling and instrumental rhythm and drive.
So that’s what I thought of these selected tracks from the awesome discography of Ron Pope and if you want to check them out either click the links above, or visit Spotify to hear all that and more. While you’re at it make sure and support the artist by subscribing to their YouTube and Patreon, visiting their website and following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/