|Citizen Cope ∩ One Lovely Day (2012)|
Citizen Cope — One Lovely Day
Born: in Memphis, Tennessee
Birth name: Clarence Greenwood
Origin: Washington, D.C., U.S.
Genres: Alternative rock
Occupations: Songwriter, Producer, Performer
Instruments: Guitar, Vocals
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: July 17, 2012
Record Label: Rainwater Recordings
01 One Lovely Day 4:01
02 Something To Believe In 3:42
03 Dancer From Brazil 3:48
04 Back Then 3:59
05 DFW 2:44
06 Peace River 3:23
07 For A Dollar 1:44
08 Southern Nights 3:37
09 A Wonder 3:16
10 0 Summertime 4:52
≡ Pico Alt Violin
≡ Citizen Cope Primary Artist
≡ Christina Courtin Violin
≡ Preston Crump Bass
≡ Paul "Buggy" Edwards Drums
≡ Brian Gardner Mastering
≡ John Ginty Keyboards, Piano
≡ Clarence Greenwood Composer, Guitar, Producer, Vocals
≡ Bashiri Johnson Percussion
≡ Ben Liscio Assistant
≡ Max Mandel Viola
≡ Manny Marroquin Mixing
≡ Deantoni Parks Drums
≡ Dan Piper Assistant
≡ James Poyser Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer Bass
≡ Matt Sandoski Engineer, Mixing
≡ Eugene Serebrennikov Layout, Package Design
≡ Alain Toussaint Composer
≡ Jeremy Turner Cello
≡ Steef Van De Gevel Engineer, Mixing
≡ 2012 One Lovely Day The Billboard 200 #39
≡ 2012 One Lovely Day Top Independent Albums #11
≡ 2012 One Lovely Day Top Rock Albums #11
≡ Cope Citizen (1992) (500 copies)
≡ Citizen Cope (2002)
≡ The Clarence Greenwood Recordings (2004)
≡ Every Waking Moment (2006) #69 U.S.
≡ The Rainwater LP (2010) #111 U.S., #10 U.S. Independent Albums
≡ One Lovely Day (2012) #39 U.S.
Review by Gregory Heaney
≡ Time after time, artists have struggled to shoehorn heady concepts into their albums, cramming in overly academic stories and heady musical themes in the name of establishing some kind of creative continuity. On One Lovely Day, however, Citizen Cope (aka Clarence Greenwood) manages to make something best described as a non-concept concept album, evoking the lazy, laid-back warmth of a summer day on track after track of his fifth album. Though not a concept album in the actual sense, the album's strong musical themes make it easy to imagine yourself listening to it on your front porch on a sweltering day, with songs like the titular track playing in the background as the neighborhood goes about its business in slow motion. While the album still features the hip-hop-influenced backbone that Greenwood's fans have come to expect, the album seems to be more interested in languid, earnest R&B and sunny, Jack Johnson-esque slacker pop, giving the album a throughly chilled-out vibe with just enough rhythm and swagger to keep things moving forward at a steady, but breezy, pace. It's this kind of mellow eclecticism that has helped Greenwood to develop such a devoted following, and it's his music's sticky, molasses-like sweetness that keeps those fans coming back for more and more. All in all, One Lovely Day is an album that Citizen Cope fans are going to want to dive right into, and those who might just be coming across the songwriter's work for the first time might stumble onto their new favorite summer record.
Biography by Greg Prato
≡ Citizen Cope is both a person (singer/songwriter Clarence Greenwood) and an acoustic-driven band. Born in Memphis and raised in Washington, D.C., Greenwood is the leader of the group, and he steers the band's soulful sound by serving as keyboardist, guitarist, lead singer, DJ, songwriter, and producer. Greenwood first broke into the music business by appearing on albums by Maryland-based rapper Basehead (1993's Not in Kansas Anymore and 1996's Faith), and he used that momentum to issue his first Citizen Cope album, Cope Citizen, in 1992. Greenwood spent the rest of the decade donating songs to several independently issued compilations -- including 1997's Settling the DC Score and 1999's Anti-Racist Action Benefit -- and appearing on the soundtracks to movies like Eat Me and Clubland. He also performed on Lazy K's 1997 album Life in One Day and inked his own deal with Capitol Records.
≡ Although Greenwood recorded an entire album, Shotguns, during his time with Capitol, the label never released the record and he was eventually released from his contract. Dreamworks took the opportunity to sign him in 2000, and Citizen Cope's self-titled album was released two years later. The bad luck continued, however, as Greenwood felt the label mishandled his record. Using an advance from Arista, he bought his way out of the Dreamworks contract and settled into a partnership with his new label. The Clarence Greenwood Recordings hit shelves in September 2004 and received considerable attention, with the track "Son's Gonna Rise" even appearing in a GM Pontiac commercial. The band remained with Arista/RCA for the release of Every Waking Moment two years later, but Greenwood had grown tired of the boundaries presented by any record label. Accordingly, he released The Rainwater LP himself in 2010, although the band's fusion of blues, folk-pop, and laid-back hip-hop remained intact. Greenwood returned two years later with a mellower, more laid-back sound on 2012's One Lovely Day.
≡ Dug deep into the rich soil of American music, Cope's roots are complex. You may think of Bill Withers or Neil Young or John Lee Hooker or Van Morrison or Willie Nelson or Al Green. Yet, Listening to Cope, you also may think of none of the above. You may not think at all, but rather feel a man exposing stories that haunt his heart.
He was born Clarence Greenwood, a child of the seventies, and his life journey is as singular as his art. He is the radically mashed-up product of Greenville, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee; Vernon, Texas; Austin, Texas; Washington, DC; and Brooklyn, New York. These locations are felt everywhere in his stories. His sounds are southern rural, big sky lonely, concrete urban, and painfully romantic.
≡ In the past nine years, he has produced four albums of depth and distinction, each a critical chapter in his search for a sound that paints an auditory American landscape in which despair wars with hope and hope, tied to love, is elusive.
≡ Cope's musical education was catch-as-catch can. Folk tales whether through William Faulkner or Big Bill Broonzy shaped his sensitivity. A few college courses at Texas Tech alternately bored and excited him. In the Austin of the eighties, he took sound classes and found himself fooling with a primitive four-track setup. Turntables intrigued him. He heard hip hop as inspired invention. For years, he got lost in his self-designed lab, cooking up beats and motifs that only later would be shaped into songs.
≡ The new album features the title track, One Lovely Day which is featured in the movie "Battleship," and is already climbing the charts at radio.
By Lane Billings / Published at 9:30 AM on July 10, 2012
© Photo by Danny Clinch
¬ Citizen Cope’s latest was recorded in Brooklyn, N.Y.—but on first listen, you’d never guess it. His fifth full length One Lovely Day finds Clarence Greenwood in warmer places—like his homebases in Austin, Texas, or Greenville, Miss.
¬ Over the past decade, Citizen Cope has been touring non-stop around the country, developing a unique brand of urban folk and building up a very dedicated fanbase. That dedicated following gave him the artistic freedom to cut loose from a major label back in 2009. He founded his own imprint, Rainwater Recordings, and released The Rainwater LP on his own terms. Fans with high expectations will find plenty to like on One Lovely Day—a collection of songs that reach for hopefulness even when the odds are down.
¬ For example, the title track’s narrator asks a sad girl to dance by the river. On the bluesy “Southern Nights,” he waxes poetic about a small town sunset. As always, Citizen Cope’s lyrics capture photographic snapshots; but more than ever on One Lovely Day, his stories have happy endings.
¬ Starting on Aug. 17, Cope sets out on a 47-date North American tour in support of the album. One Lovely Day doesn’t come until July 17, but you can stream the entire record in the player below: http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2012/07/album-stream-citizen-copes-one-lovely-day.html
¬ It has been a dreadful summer so far in England. We have had the wettest May and June since records began and July is no improvement. Weather more akin to November than even a typical English summer is on offer outside, overcast blustery and cold. This is what my sister always referred to as suicide weather. Not something to put you in a decent frame of mind for listening to the new release from Citizen Cope, "One Lovely Day", you would think.
¬ And yet if you did think this way, you would be wrong. Despite the seemingly upbeat nature of its title, "One Lovely Day" is actually a rather downbeat little number, perfectly suited to a day like today. I can just imagine Citizen Cope sitting inside, looking out of the window on a dreary day such as this, and singing "One Lovely Day" in the almost forlorn hope that one day it will indeed be, one lovely day.
¬ Citizen Cope's melancholy sounding voice is a major contributor to the effect this song has. Kind of like John Martyn without the heavy slurring or Tom Waits without the gravel in his throat, the voice has a quality which, while not miserable, is not cheerful either. Ideally suited to the song and the day itself. The string arrangement behind the song has that end of summer ring to it, remembering past glories, lying in the sun beneath clear blue sky and thinking of nothing in particular.
¬ What is particularly appealing is that "One Lovely Day" is not in any sense a localised song. It is as at home in the Puget Sound as it is in the Thames Estuary, Placentia Bay or the Foveaux Strait. Nor is it confined to any time. "One Lovely Day" is for all places and all eras, provided that the weather is depressing and the longing for something brighter and more cheery seems mere wishful thinking.
¬ Rating: 7.3/10
© Michael Sterling Eaton © Amy Sussman, Getty Images
|Citizen Cope ∩ One Lovely Day (2012)|