EDWARD ROGERS - Sunday Fables

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These copies are the left ever copies of this particular Not Lame label release. If you do not own it, you can’t beat this last ever, lowest price ever for this release. This is it.

Amazing story behind this release:

"Edward Rogers is known to most on the New York scene as the producer of “The Beat Goes On” series at the legendary Bottom Line, or as a featured performer and musical advisor at many of the popular “Losers’ Lounge” tribute shows. Those with longer memories might recall him as a founding member of Primrose Hill or the pop combo Green Rooftops.

What most people don’t recall is the horrible accident he had over 15 years ago. That October morning he was headed to work on the subway, but not feeling well. He got up to open the door that separates the train cars, trying to get some air. That’s all he remembers. Four days later, he woke up at Bellevue hospital to learn he had lost his right arm and leg.

cover art

EDWARD ROGERS

SUNDAY FABLES

(NOT LAME)
US: 27 JAN 2004
UK: AVAILABLE AS IMPORT

Most people might let such an accident devastate them. Not Edward Rogers. In testament to the strength of his spirit, he was able to walk and was back at work within six months. His rationale: life is too good not to go on.

Thank goodness he persevered. Because the determined Edward Rogers has taken his talents and, along with the help of veteran singer/songwriter George Usher, created a solid debut album that’s chock full of light and warmth and classical pop/rock traditions.

Sunday Fables reflects Rogers’s British roots and then some. Raised on the great pop music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Rogers and Usher collaborate to give you songs that reflect diverse musical tastes in variants of the jangle pop idiom.

The talented band is comprised of Rogers and Usher, joined by Guy Finley, Doug Larcey, Claudia Chopek, and Mark Sidgwick. On most tracks, Rogers’s vocals are backed by Usher’s harmonies and the play between the two voices is quite good. Also making guest appearances are Jane Scarpantoni (cello) and fellow Losers’ Lounge compatriot Joe McGinty (piano).

The CD gets off to a pleasant start with the mid-tempo “Who Knew the World Would End”, examining the unique situation of a world that ends before a relationship, which features Marty Willson-Piper (of the Church) on lead guitar.

“It Was Love (So It Couldn’t Last)” is yet another catchy song, with easy harmonies and some impressive bass lines as well as the hook of the music echoing verse phrases. Like many of the songs here, this one’s a reflection back on a past relationship—one that had it all but didn’t last.

The prettiest song here is the elegant “Germantown”, again translating simple reflections on times and places of long ago into memorable music (sounds like it could easily fit into the exquisite George Usher Group release from 2000 Days of Plenty). While the name of the town itself isn’t a particularly graceful one, the kind memories that surround it here (as well as the piano and strings) couldn’t be sweeter or more poignant: “Some are born to live their lives forever running ‘round / Others find a way to make it home / We believed in everything we had in Germantown / Everybody needs an answer.”

A close second on the “sweetness” meter is the gentle ballad closer “Rain Becomes Her”. Again, soft guitars and lovely string arrangements combine with Rogers’s pleasing vocals to convey the haunting wistful poetic lyrics: “Where’s my rainbow, where did love go / She walks between the raindrops and hasn’t time for tears / She looks back once to see my face before she disappears / We will never be together / But will she ever know / rain becomes her so.”

“Crushed by the Inside” sounds to me like a distant musical cousin of Martin Newell’s “Before the Hurricane” (not a bad thing at all). Rogers’s plaintive vocal prowess is on display as he sings of falling apart, a life of fear and emptiness: “I’m crushed on the inside / Exposed on the outside / Lost forever, begging please / I’m down on my knees.” There’s a bravado to the drums and the arrangement that propels the song forward and gives it true presence.

Jangle fans will go gaga over the Rickenbacker-laden “In the Garden of Who You Were”. Here Rogers taps George Usher at his classical Byrds-like best. This upbeat ditty is couched in layers of guitars, while Rogers sings all about wasted time spent pondering “what-could-have-beens”, rather than living in the world. This is perfect jangle pop, clocking in at less than three minutes, full of light and infectious good cheer.

Edward Rogers was responsible for the triumphant return to New York of the Zombies’ lead singer Colin Blunstone, producing a series of sold-out shows. Here, Colin returns the favor, as he and fellow Zombie Rod Argent contribute guest vocals on the wonderfully moody ballad “Make It Go Away”, an emotional entreaty to be “the one”—friend, trusted confidante, and healer.

One my favorites here is “Innocent Times”—a fond backwards glance at more innocent times and first love. It features a great rhythm-driven arrangement of what is one very catchy tune with a winning chorus. Joshua Tyler has done a fine job of keeping the production warm and instantly accessible.

The string interlude that is the title track “Sunday Fables” is short, sweet, and memorable.

Somewhere between Santa Claus and God, the “Laughing Ghost” is a presence that sees all and knows all—including secrets and other indiscretions. In this enjoyable song we find out more: “The laughing ghost sees a lover’s hands all over you and understands / The missing ring and why it’s gone / Where it is and what went wrong / When words became an empty toast / No one knows except the laughing ghost”.

The harder-edged “Mercury Wheel” manages effectively to blend spoken verses along with those sung to achieve a sort of rocking toughness (check out the fine percussion accents). This is an attitude song, about going along in life not fretting much about eventual consequences: “I’m not gonna worry when the story ends / And the hanging judge cries ‘Guilty!’/ Along with twelve of my best friends / I’m not mad, but maybe I will be / Well, if it’s gotta be that way / I’ll roll on a mercury wheel / wherever it takes me, whatever they say”.

“Building Winter” lets guitarist Doug Larcey loose a bit, and is another pleasant mid-tempo pop/rocker that could hide comfortably on a George Usher Group release. “All Your Kingdom” is guitar-driven with more of a psychedelic flair (thanks in part to Marty Willson-Piper’s contributed lead and some great vocal harmonies at song’s end). This upbeat song of defiance is all about the control behind the games of love.

The variety of material and the musical execution here are impressive. Rogers has a voice that sounds at ease fronting the various moods of the songs presented. Sunday Fables is an ambitious and impressive debut from a talented man whose strong spirit is to be admired. The pairing of George Usher and Edward Rogers makes for a sublime collection of pleasant, well-constructed tunes that reflect the pair’s combined rock knowledge, from jangle pop to baroque string ballads. While some collaborations work better than others, this one works exquisitely well. The ultimate proof is in the music—give Sunday Fables a listen and hear for yourself."- Pop Matters