10 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bob Desper’s New Sounds was his sole album. Only 500 copies were issued by Rose City Records, and copies have been known to fetch nearly a thousand dollars on eBay. But the 2011 reissue of this 1974 album proves to be one of those rare instances when an old record’s obscurity is matched by its quality. Likened to such “loner folk” masterworks as Gary Higgins’ Red Hash and Chris Bell’s I Am the Cosmos, Desper’s New Sounds is the music of a man stricken with blindness since adolescence, lost in the melancholy of Oregon’s wintry solitude. The haunting “Darkness Is Like a Shadow” opens with Desper singing over his acoustic guitar, sounding a little like Jackson C. Frank with just a hint of reverb. In “It’s Too Late,” he sings with the kind of hopelessness that can only be attributed to the Pacific Northwest’s specific strain of seasonal affective disorder. Once you get past the impressive fingerpicking of “To a Friend of Mine,” the man’s beautiful insight of the human condition’s darker corners is riveting.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bob Desper’s New Sounds was his sole album. Only 500 copies were issued by Rose City Records, and copies have been known to fetch nearly a thousand dollars on eBay. But the 2011 reissue of this 1974 album proves to be one of those rare instances when an old record’s obscurity is matched by its quality. Likened to such “loner folk” masterworks as Gary Higgins’ Red Hash and Chris Bell’s I Am the Cosmos, Desper’s New Sounds is the music of a man stricken with blindness since adolescence, lost in the melancholy of Oregon’s wintry solitude. The haunting “Darkness Is Like a Shadow” opens with Desper singing over his acoustic guitar, sounding a little like Jackson C. Frank with just a hint of reverb. In “It’s Too Late,” he sings with the kind of hopelessness that can only be attributed to the Pacific Northwest’s specific strain of seasonal affective disorder. Once you get past the impressive fingerpicking of “To a Friend of Mine,” the man’s beautiful insight of the human condition’s darker corners is riveting.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

grayarea56 ,

My Brother Bob Desper

Bob lived with our family for a number of years, when I was a young teenager. Shortly after he left our family, he recorded this album. I haven't heard this album for over 40 years, and listening to it is bringing back memories of Bob's wonderful guitar work, mellow voice, and creative lyrics. I wish I could find our old LP. I heard they were selling on EBay for quite a bit.

BullHorse71 ,

Great album!

I heard “Dry Up Those Tears” when watching an NFL Draft commercial. I fell in love with that song instantly! So, I had to search for it, and after a long search, I have found it. The whole album us great. It is a must buy. Great lyrics, and great guitar licks!

Totallyfirst ,

Never Old

New Sounds, Bob Desper sees again and his visionary Album shines a New. Masterpiece.