Will Turpin is quite possibly the most laid back guy in rock ‘n' roll, ironic considering it's an industry based on a lot of noise and hype. On his new EP, called "The Lighthouse," the humble musician has cleared his throat and finally discovered his voice.
Turpin is the bassist for Collective Soul, a super group who charted an astounding seven No. 1 hits and 19 Top 40 singles in a seven-year period. They received more airtime on the radio than any other band of its era - Nirvana, Pearl Jam, R.E.M. and Oasis weren't even close.
Their hook-laden guitar anthems and powerfully melodic songs propelled them to international stardom, multi-platinum status and were the soundtrack for millions of lives in the 1990s.
Nearly 18 years after the group's formation comes the first solo effort by Turpin, who navigates his way through this five-song set of catchy and infectious tunes.
In between his duties for Collective Soul and Soccer Dad, Turpin found time to write, record, produce and distribute this work on his indie label, Gooey Music.
"The Lighthouse" features collaborations with former Collective Soul drummer Ryan Hoyle, as well as current band mates Ed Roland (who co-wrote two of the songs), guitarist Joel Kosche, and musician Peter Stroud (electric and 12-string guitar).
Turpin sings as well as plays piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums. He describes his sound as "mega sweet rock ‘n' roll candy" and offers listeners a handful of tasty treats, as well as some food for thought.
• "60 Seconds" - This rollicking and upbeat opener showcases Turpin's piano and bass skills while summoning the spirit of Paul McCartney and Wings. Turpin says the song is about a foolish, but life-changing, act that takes no more than "60 Seconds." "It's hard to wear a heavy crown. You've gotta keep your head from falling down. But if I were the King of Attributes, then what would I be to you?" cleverly hints that Turpin learned a trick or two over the years from Roland, who is an ace songwriter.
• "Sailor" - Co-written with Roland, "Sailor" is a moody and introspective piece about friendships with people who need help, but won't accept sound advice. When Turpin sings, "I can't save the sailor from the storm," he admits the line is in reference to Shane Evans, Collective Soul's original drummer, who was ousted from the group in 2004.
• "My Star" - Turpin sings his heart out for the entire 4 minutes and 35 seconds, making this "The Lighthouse's" most emotionally charged track. It's dedicated to his wife, Donna, who has been Turpin's better half for 17 years and is "his star." Turpin also says the song is about him when referring to "the guy who couldn't be stopped, who shoulda been shot."
• "Her Name" - Written about a woman who is the constant center of attention and "everyone knows her name." Kosche's classical guitar lends a Spanish aesthetic to the tune and complements Turpin's falsetto. The second of two songs co-written with Roland.
• "Sanity" - Epic and ambitious, Turpin's rails about the pitfalls of substance abuse and appeals to lost souls not to give up hope but, rather, find a solution. "I had a lot to lose, so I had to find another way. I found it easy to choose when I saw there was another way." The song aptly closes out "The Lighthouse" and promises greater things to come from Turpin.
• Marshall Terrill is a freelance journalist who resides in the Phoenix area. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.