Album Reviews

Citizen Cope – One Lovely Day

on July 24, 2012, 7:56am
Citzen Cope - One Lovely Day D-
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In the years since 2006′s Every Waking Moment, Citizen Cope (née Clarence Greenwood) has become the musical equivalent of Joss Whedon, each trading the creativity of their younger artistry for bloated audience pleasers. Cope’s newest release, One Lovely Day, like Whedon’s summer-blockbuster The Avengers, listens like an attempt to meet expectations, never attempting to push his abilities or the prevailing tastes of an already devoted fan base.

In 2002, Cope soaked his audience with a flood of emotions on “Sideways” (recorded with Carlos Santana for his album, Shaman), and ten years later the tides of romantic adulation on “A Wonder” build from his established, charming writing aesthetic rather than some tangible encounter. “One Lovely Day”, the title track and a single from the Battleship soundtrack, seems like fodder for classroom/cubicle-induced beachside day dreaming, the type typically scored by the myriad of adult-contemporary troubadours like Jason Mraz or Jack Johnson. Each track (especially album closer “Summertime”) serves perfectly as filler for adolescent mixtapes, but generally lacks the character depth of his early work (e.g. “Mandy”, “200,000″).

What the early tracks lack in substance is partially redeemed mid-album on “Peace River”. Complete with a flute, shuffling jazz snare drum, and distorted electric guitar, the sonically rich track is also a social commentary told through the guise of a stream-of-consciousness third person narrative. This is a character that has fulfilled all his/her desires, but still couldn’t put out the fire of temptation, until a humble visit to the peace river.

Cope is at his best when he’s the most transparently sentimental. The tones of a music box ring clear before the muffled vocalist reminisces about society’s lost innocence on “Back Then”. The track’s underlying piano chords are emphasized on “Southern Nights”, which hearkens back to Duane Allman’s acoustic southern rock.

Perhaps the expectations for One Lovely Day were set too high, as Cope has already spent a decade pouring his unbounded heart into his mellow blues rock. But, to get back to the Whedon reference, is it OK to settle for Dollhouse instead of pushing for a second season of Firefly?   

Essential Tracks: “Peace River”

6 comments

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phil
December 13, 2012 at 11:34 pm

i can’t believe this album got 2 stars

Matt
September 26, 2012 at 11:25 am

I’m addicted to this album. Was never a fan (hadn’t heard of him until recently). Maybe you should manage your expectations – this is an excellent album.

dave
August 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Like most new albums, it takes time for them to grow on me. I’ve listened to One Lovely Day maybe 10 to 12 times front to back, and I’m tryin to like it. There are a few gems on this album, but for the most part, either we live in a world where we’ve been conditioned to expect instant gratification, or his best work is truly behind him, on the floor of the board of this car on the road, got this woman in the back seat…forget it, I’m done writing…it’s one lovely day

COPEFAN
August 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm

2 stars? Are you serious? lol Just look at the music industry at the moment and try to find someone so consistent in the way of making only ten songs but every single one is so beautyful and “real” and he gets 2 stars? puff

Seth
July 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I’m a Cope fan, but I agree unfortunately. His last album was much better.

420
July 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

2 stars? Mate you’re an idiot.

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