Robert Roth

Someone, Somewhere...

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Several years removed from the breakup of one of Seattle's more underrated bands, Truly, singer/guitarist/songwriter Robert Roth returns with his first-ever solo release, 2004's Someone, Somewhere. It turns out that Roth followed the lead of Stevie Wonder and Prince on his solo debut, as he penned everything, played the majority of the instruments, and also produced the album in his own studio -- over the course of a lengthy three-year period. With Roth calling all the shots, Someone, Somewhere retains some of Truly's sonic elements (especially Roth's appreciation of Tom Verlaine and Brian Wilson), but also manages to expand on them -- with standouts including the Flaming Lips-esque title track and the heavy riff-rocker "Relive These X." Lyrically, Roth also tackles some serious subject matter, including Seattle's WTO riots ("Streetplay '99") and 9/11 ("Under the Ever-Watchful Eye" and the album-closing "Yesterday's War"). Touching on a wide variety of influences, Someone, Somewhere sounds little like what was being spun on rock radio during the early 21st century -- and that is precisely its charm. Longtime Truly fans who have waited patiently will certainly not be let down.

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