Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Music Theory: Copeland

-This may be the first album review I write in which I don't complain about being disappointed by a follow-up/major label debut from a band I love. That being said, here is a bit of a history of my experience with Copeland. I first heard the band probably junior year (2005) and I found their music (what I heard was from the album In Motion) was an unsure attempt at riding the line between adolescent emo/poprock and the semibearable leg of modern indie rock. I dismissed the band for the better part of a year.
-When Copeland released their 2006 offering Eat, Sleep, Repeat, a friend whose musical opinion I value told me I had to listen to it. To my surprise the album was a refreshing divergence from the band's previous work. The album gave the finger to the dominant narrative of present day indie rock. The album reportedly referenced one of the greatest albums of all time, Radiohead's Kid A. In the manner of Kid A, Eat,Sleep, Repeat turned a blind eye to the limitations of genre. In one album the band had matured in sound and content, creating what has become, in my view, one of the greatest albums of all time. In the time between that album and now the band kept us eager with the release last year of Dressed Up and In Line, a collection of rarities, b-sides, and remixes.

-Now, all that being said, I've got a habit of being greatly disappointed after getting my hopes up for a release. Thankfully, Copeland's new album You Are My Sunshine delivers from the very first song. In fact, I have found fault with no single track on the album. Copeland does on this album what any band getting their first backing from a major (this album is backed by Columbia) should do. They've taken the elements that worked well on their last album: Experiments with structure, subtle uses of piano, vintage synth, horns and electronic inspired percussion, and refined them in a more commercially viable and pop-sensible manner. This album could/should resonate with a more mature and musically diverse audience.
-Overall Grade: A.

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