Misfit is audio-visual art project by Rob Roper. The visual art was designed by Greg Carr and Salli Ratts. It takes the form of CD book, containing the audio CD and a booklet. The booklet has 2 pages for each song; one page of text written by me, describing aspects of the songwriting and recording process, and the other page a visual reflection of the song.
(Misfit is now available in a less expensive "Standard" Edition, which has a standard CD soft cover and does not include the booklet. Musically they are identical. Both the Standard and Deluxe Editions are available on my Bandcamp site.)
Musically, Misfit is a 10-song recording produced by John McVey at Coupe Studios in Boulder. Stylistically, the record is varied. Grounded in rock and folk, there are diversions into funk ("Bipolar"), African ("Me"), and Irish drinking song ("The Screwup Song"). However, there are common lyrical themes, as can be seen by the poem to the right of the album cover above. The poem contains lines taken from the 10 songs. Misfit sums up the lyrical themes in a single word.
Eight of the 10 songs were written by me. "Chair on the Moon" was written by Bill Kahler. It's a song that's been a part of my live set for the last few years, and fits the misfit theme well.
"Little White Boy" was written about me, by Lori Grebe Cook. I met Lori at a songwriting camp in 2004. At one of the classes, you were paired up with someone and exchanged stories about your life experiences. You then wrote a song about the other person's story. I told Lori about growing up in Mississippi during the last days of segregation and during the Civil Rights movement. Lori wrote this song for me. It also fits the misfit them well.
I hope you enjoy Misfit. --Rob Roper April 28, 2011
"Singer/Songwriter Rob Roper pulled out all the stops for his debut full-length "Misfit". Putting as much focus on the visuals (cover art, booklet info, etc.) as he does on the 10 stellar tunes that make up the album, Roper has made it necessary for listeners to invest in an actual physical (gasp!) CD. The stylized concept--which resembles a hardcover book--would be pointless without good music to accompany it. Roper succeeds in that area, as well.
"The eight original tunes on "Misfit" were written between 2004 and 2009, and find Roper ruminating on life, love and pop culture. Highlights include the title track, "Me", "Bipolar" and "The Screwup Song," and his covers of Bill Kahler's "Chair on the Moon" and Lori Grebe Cook's "Little White Boy" are equally effective. Good stuff."
--JS, In Tune, The Daily News, May 19, 2011
"On the title track of Rob Roper's first full-length, Misfit, the singer-songwriter spends a good portion of the song singing about what he isn't. To wit: He's not a hippie, redneck or vegan. What's more, he doesn't have a tattoo, piercings or dreadlocks, and he doesn't drink Bud Light or Jagermeister. But what Roper is, as Misfit proves, is a guy with some sharp songwriting skills and a knack for penning witty lyrics. On the African-tinged 'Me' (which Roper dedicates to people who daydream at their jobs, especially musicians and artists having to work day jobs), he sings about working for the Man and staring at a screen-- but, he stresses, 'This ain't me.' On the album's lively opener, 'Falling Into Heaven,' Roper and his group summon Bob Dylan, then tone it down on the heartbreaking 'You Could Have Had Me.'"
--Jon Solomon, The Westword, May 17 2011
"Roper's gentle blend of Americana and rock n roll is as memorable as the package it comes in ...plinks at heart strings and funny bones... finding both the sorrow and the humor in some of the shadowed crevices of day-to-day life... a solid songwriter with a talent for telling stories from unusual perspectives... an entertaining effort."
"Calling his new release Misfit may be off-putting for music lovers with conservative tastes, but Rob Roper can't be accused of misrepresenting his unique music.
"Combining a vocal delivery at times reminiscent of Joe Strummer, other times Peter Asher, Roper creates noticeable pop music. And here, his chameleon-like vocal delivery adds to the songs' power and impact. From the opening cut ("Falling Into Heaven") with its Tom-Petty-esque lope, to the heavy-footed elephant stomp of the title cut, Roper's musical persona is part folkie, part nerd, part conceptual artist, and part cultural critic. On "Bipolar," he combines Motown,Stax/Volt, and Tin-Pan Alley with a dash of smooth jazz. "Apollo's Little Bastard" combines mythical allusions with a sort of self-help patter for mere mortals. And if songwriting isn't enough, Roper takes a blistering electric guitar solo, as well. Producer John McVey handles most of the other electric guitar parts throughout the album.
"Even the packaging here is special. Instead of the usual jewel case or eco-paperboard, Misfit has a book-like cover with thick paper pages and commissioned illustrations. The music more than delivers on the promise of the packaging."
--Vintage Guitar, September 2011
"...drenched with emotion, with truly beautiful songs...A modest masterpiece."