The Verve Pipe (self-titled)
Available to LTPL patrons via Freegal
Reviewed by Brian Johnston
Hailing from Michigan, The Verve Pipe briefly gained fame in the mid-1990s with their hit song, “The Freshman.” They’re not known for much else, which is too bad, because over the years they have put out several albums worth of good music. I’ve also seen them in concert a total of four times, and they’ve always put on a good show. They’ve stayed loyal to their roots, playing a lot of shows in Michigan over the years.
Villains, which included “The Freshman,” was the album that put the band on the map back in 1996. They then followed that up with their self-titled album, The Verve Pipe, in 1999. Known as “the frog album” because it has a picture of a frog on the cover, this album wasn’t as popular as Villains and doesn’t have as many standout tracks. However, it’s still a solid rock album from start to finish.
“Hero” is probably the most well-known track from this album; I remember it being on the radio a lot in 1999. It’s a fun song and one of the more upbeat tracks on the album. Indeed, the majority of the songs on the album seem to be in this vain, and I think this is where the band is at their best. “In Between” and “Headlines” are two of my personal favorites.
However, the slower-paced songs can be good, too. These would include “Kiss Me Idle,” “Half a Mind,” and “She Has Faces.” Though, I wouldn’t say that these songs are a dramatic change of pace from the more upbeat ones. Overall, I think the album flows well, even if, as I mentioned before, there are few tracks that really stand out.
In any case, from start to finish, it’s a solid album, as there really aren’t any weak songs on here, either. If you haven’t listened to The Verve Pipe much beyond “The Freshman,” give more of their stuff a try, including this album.