Robert Tepper
Better Than the Rest

Label: AOR Heaven
Three similar bands: Jimi Jamison/John Waite/Russ Ballard

Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Why Does Over
2. Better Than The Rest
3. All That We Never Have
4. Testimony
5. Time Just This Time
6. My Yesterday
7. Tell Me You Love Me
8. Show Me Where The Light Is Going
9. Beyond The Atmosphere
10. I Don’t Want To Make You Love Me
11. You Know Just How You Feel

Robert Tepper

No Easy Way Out (1985)
Modern Madness (1988)
No Rest For The Wounded Heart (1996)
New Life Story (2012)



Released 2019-09-27
Reviewed 2020-04-25

aor heaven

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Robert Tepper is an experienced song writer with some successful hits as well as film and TV music, he has four albums in his discography but is probably more known for his writing than his musicianship. Judging by the title he seems to think that he is better than other musicians in the same genre, it could be true of course but when people claim such thing it is usually time to bring out the most dismissive quotes. However, I am a very objective person so I listen to the stuff before dismissing it – but one thing you can dismiss is the cover, a face is so without imagination and boring that I can’t really think of anything worse.

The music is melodic rock in the veins of the similar bands and many others with them, like Mike Tramp and Mark Spiro amongst the ones we have written about here at Hallowed. From a creative standpoint is certainly not more interesting than the rest, it is quite ordinary when it comes to that. The production is good, and the songs are more or less the ones you can expect from an album of this variety, no alarms and no surprises is one way of putting it. The playing time is fairly sensible, but it could have been shorter as the songs aren’t very dynamic.

It is a pretty good album in the regard that it has good songs and no really weak one, although it doesn’t really offer much of a standout track. It is not better than the rest, probably not too much worse than most of the rest either. So, the title is probably a bit of a lie, hopefully not a conscious deception, but you can’t say that the title is true whichever way you look at it. The albums lack hit songs, it also lacks novelty, I think Tepper would need to think a little bit more outside the box if he want to be noticed, his songs and his singing isn’t very exciting.

I guess I should really stop hoping for novel and fresh ideas and just review the craftsmanship as most musicians are as creative as a dead mushroom or a stone. Tepper is a good craftsman, but his artistry leaves a lot to be desired and this album is more like something industrially produced than something created from someone with a creative spirit. More like a new Volvo car or a new chainsaw by Husqvarna, quite uninteresting but decent tools, in Tepper’s case it is a tool for removing silence like elevator/lift music as such inoffensive background music you are not really supposed to listen to is usually called. More background noise than entertainment, is my ending conclusion.