Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Funky, honest pop from Citizen Cope

Today I hope to turn you onto Citizen Cope, if you‘re not a fan already. Frontman Clarence Greenwood populates comfortable grooves with compelling lyrics to create songs that will continue to grow on you for months. You probably won’t be jumping up to dance to any of these tracks, but it’s not sleepy music. There is plenty of energy. In some ways Citizen Cope reminds me of G. Love and Special Sauce, but mellower and more polished.

Rosebud...

I have all three of their albums. My favorite is the 2004 release, “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings.” Lyrics that give you glimpses into fragments of stories, deft production, and synergetic instrumentation make this a great listen as background music or with headphones. I’m not usually as much into the lyrics as what the band is doing musically, but the stories they tell give these grooves substance. Give these tracks a listen and you’ll want a few of them.

  • Bullet and a TargetBut what you’ve done is to put yourself between a bullet and a target and it won’t be long before you’re pulling yourself away.
  • Hurricane WatersWhen you’re stuck in the middle of a place that you don’t belong and you start to lose sight of what’s right and wrong. ‘Cos when we started it was innocent.
  • Pablo PicassoMr. Officer, if you come to take her then that means one of us gonna end up in a stretcher. Gonna wind up in the paper.
  • SidewaysThese feelings won’t go away. They been knocking me sideways. I keep thinking in a moment that time will take them away.

Before this LP, they released “Citizen Cope” in 2002. This is also a good CD. ‘If There’s Love’ off this album is the only Citizen Cope I have ever heard on the radio although, admittedly, I don’t listen to much radio. This album is a little more upbeat and I would say radio friendly. Check out these tracks.

  • Mistaken I.D. – This is my favorite track on the album about someone the singer has never spoken to who thinks the singer is his long lost best friend.
  • Hands of the Saints – This is my wife’s favorite track on the album and it is a beautiful song.
  • Mandy – The vamping piano is the soul of this song, but the lyrics and vocal line give this love song a lot of appeal.

“Every Waking Moment” came out in 2006 and reached #69 on the U.S. album charts. I didn’t think this one was as good as “The Clarence Greenwood Recordings” end to end, but there were a couple of outstanding tracks. Give a listen to

  • Friendly Fire – I have not found anyone else who has speculated whether this song might have been inspired by Pat Tillman. Just me.
  • All Dressed Up – The vocal hook is fat. He has a great talent for singing rhythmically with the music so his voice hits spaces the drums miss.

http://www.citizencope.com is their website. They aren’t coming anywhere near Cleveland this year, but I’m looking forward to seeing them at Bonnaroo in June.

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February 12, 2009 - Posted by | Popular

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