Peter Holsapple

Game Day

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Game Day Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Peter Holsapple never quite stepped away from music, but he did put his solo career on ice. After releasing Out of My Way in 1997, he busied himself with the Continental Drifters and as a sideman, reuniting with his longtime collaborator Chris Stamey for a duo album in 2009, then a full-fledged dB's reunion in 2012. It was enough to keep him away from performing on his own, so Game Day -- his second proper solo album -- wound up appearing a whopping 21 years after his first. Those years can be felt on Game Day, particularly in how Holsapple embraces his status as an older guy, going so far as to write a song called "Yelling at Clouds." This is a good indication of Game Day's considerable charms: it's wryly funny and slyly autobiographical, finding Holsapple content with looking back while never succumbing to nostalgia. Part of the reason the record has a snap is how Holsapple embraced the concept of a solo album, recording all of the instrumental and vocal parts on his own. Far from sounding hermetically sealed, Game Day has the feel of a welcoming interior monologue, with Holsapple holding true to his musical obsessions (chiefly, the clean, crisp guitar pop of the '60s) as he digs into his current concerns. It's lively, thoughtful, familiar, and fresh, the kind of record that delivers comfort upon the first listen and unexpected sustained pleasures upon return visits.

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