Cam Penner released Trouble & Mercy a little over a year ago and I pretty much assumed he was on the fast track to, at the very least, blog darling. Blogs left and right were writing about him, heaping enough praise on him to make Lady GaGa blush.
With Gypsy Summer he’s released an admittedly more mature and accessible record that’s also a decidedly better record than Trouble and Mercy (which made my Top 20 albums of 2009), but there’s barely been a ripple across the blogger community outside the of usual suspects; songs:illinois (whom I credit for even knowing it came out) and Herohill.
Personally, I love albums and artists that can reinforce a feeling, and for me Cam does a great job of that. He makes records that reinforce, in his own words, that bleak “it’s gonna get worse before it gets better” mentality that I so often have to force myself to stay out of, but occasionally open a fresh fifth of whiskey and embrace completely. Despite the bulked up instrumentation and expanded arrangements on Gypsy Summer, the heart of what made Cam’s 2009 release Trouble and Mercy great still beats strong, and perhaps made him even better.
Either way, shame on the blogosphere for ignoring this album and, as a result, this artist. Something tells me that, like Trouble & Mercy, I am not gonna be able to stop listening to this album, so I’m dropping it on the Essential Listening list now.