Mo Troper is truly one of a kind, and that’s never been more apparent than on his fifth full-length, the winkingly titled MTV. Arriving hot on the heels of his 2021 full-length, Dilettante, the album finds the Portland, OR-based power pop extraor-dinaire diving further into home-recorded immediacy to make a record that feels like a strikingly direct conduit to the world of Mo–where heartbreak, hilarity, and hooks all go hand-in-hand.
MTV hurtles through 15 songs in just 31 minutes, with most of the tracks never even coming close to the three-minute mark. The sequence feels like a combination of a fever dream and a travel diary, intertwining tales of romantic long-ing with the ups and downs of cross-country touring. Songs like “Across The USA,” “Royal Jelly,” or “Coke Zero” unravel the headaches and heartbreaks, often alternating between unflinching emotional details and legitimately funny one-lin-ers. “I feel like I’m just in this mode of rebelling against the expectation for artists to be emotionally or aesthetically cohe-sive,” Troper says. “I think about all my favorite records and songwriters, and they’re often these people who would have really depressing stuff and then insane moments of levity that don’t get talked about as much. I want to make music that’s emotional but also campy or sarcastic or resonates in other ways. I’m like, ‘you know what, it’s all me."