Never one to comfortably draw inside the lines of genre-friendly convention, a staggering 12-some-odd years later, fusion-aficionado, Citizen Cope’s sophomore release: The Clarence Greenwood Recordings still strikes an effervescent chord in the ears of listeners seeking a sonic-flavor a little less……….predictable.

 

Born Clarence Greenwood of Memphis Tennessee, this burgeoning-rapscallion spent a sizable portion of his formative years bouncing around the fonder parts of Mississippi and Texas before settling-in the patriotic, swampy-laurels of Washington, D.C. to flesh-out the remainder of his youth.  Washington, D.C. bears the fruits of Citizen Cope’s burden as it hails the catalyst for his soulful machinations. 

 

Opening with nothing short of a worthy contribution to the Cope canon, “Nite Becomes Day” is a seamless unveiling of sorts sprung from the minimalistic vocal-flourish: “Bum-Bah” and growing from layer-after-layer into the east-coast hip-hop beat-infused manifesto that relay the sheer essence of an artist beloved for his eclectic nuance.

 

Exorcising his formidable right to the throes of reggae-tempered social awareness, Citizen Cope follows his funky-fueled opener with the likes of: “Pablo Picasso.”  Lifted to new highs amid the guile of an infamous femme fatale thematic-dissonance, the track is grounded in gritty-urban fervor detailing, “a woman so compelling she stands at forty-feet tall.”  Once the emotional overtone of moving-synths set-sail, the sincerity of Cope’s own romantic obsession becomes invariably relatable.

 

Having been produced by Citizen Cope himself, the earnest transition from “Pablo Picasso” into the upbeat psychedelic-subterfuge of “My Way Home” marks an abundant album climax as the narrative is cleverly shifted into not only the tent-pole single the crowd recognizes as: “Son’s Gonna Rise,” but a career-defining anthem of which makes an artist like Citizen Cope so strikingly-indelible.  “Son’s Gonna Rise” chugs forth bellowing the trippy-terrain Cope has laid before you complete crisp-and-clad in hot-fuzz guitar majesty.  The cut’s hook remains true and dwells far among the ranks of perseverance in the face of adversity.  Carlos Santana’s signature guest-appearance on this delightful-little-ditty is just as surprising as it is fulfilling. 

 

While much of the second-half of this record relinquishes its strengths and better judgement to the trappings of repetition and unfocused songwriting, Citizen Cope’s monotonic-crooning notwithstanding, “Sideways” is plain-and-simple the genuine-article when measuring the craftsmanship of an artist pouring blood, sweat, and tears from his very own lips into the pages of folk-music history.  Eerily quaint, but inexorably-vulnerable, the song is a slow-burn building as it strips away layers of pain at the helms of innocence. 

By: Nathan Porter

Please wait...

A message from the Editor/Founder of Amped Sound, Danielle

Hello everyone! I have an announcement to make that pains me greatly. Amped Sound will be taking a hiatus. Over the last 4 years, we have had a blast providing you content on your favorite bands, and being where you go to get your Warped Tour setlists. I never thought that Amped would grow to what it has, and that wouldn't have happened without the fans and our wonderful staff. This isn't an end for us, just a break to let us all breath and rebuild AS to what we want it to be. Any content that was already scheduled for the rest of the year will be posted as such. Thank you to everyone who has believed in us, and put for the effort to help make Amped Sound what it has become. We will see you soon. Subscribe below to be notified of future updates from us.