Citizen Cope’s ‘Rainwater LP’ album keeps soul, blues roots

Published On:
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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Artist- Citizen Cope
Album- The Rainwater LP
Label- Rainwater Recordings
5 out 5 Pitchforks

For a guy who prefers to spread his music by word of mouth rather than advertising, Citizen Cope, aka Clarence Greenwood, sure has a bold musical presence. Greenwood, a humble acoustic/blues/rock musician, is often known for telling enticing stories through his songs more than most artists, who sing mostly about love.

Currently on tour to support his new album, “The Rainwater LP,” Greenwood proves through his music that it was worth the nearly five-year wait since the release of his last album.

The album kicks off with “Keep Askin,” a slow, soft tune in which Greenwood expresses his optimism for society to better itself eventually. This track is strong evidence that his emotions undeniably run soul-deep.

With a more upbeat feel and some sexy horn riffs at the end, “Healing Hands” could easily be a listener’s favorite song. Cope has strong lyrics about acknowledging a special woman on this track, singing, “I don’t know about your right and wrong/ I got a muse from the East to the West/ All I know is if I never said it before/ I’m going to say it with my last breath.” Smooth percussion perfects the song.

“I Couldn’t Explain Why” opens with sultry moaning that begins a delicate lament about uncertainties of life, death, actions and emotions.

“Lifeline” is a poignant song of helplessness and hardship. Cope sings about the story of society: People are meant to experience hard times and they must carry on in spite of the challenges that life presents.

A light, mellow beat and playful piano licks make “Off the Ground” stand out the most. The vocals on this track may be some of the most highly-spirited on the LP, and the song, as a whole, is so catchy it’s worth playing repeatedly.

“Jericho” is a fabulous funk fusion of jazz and hip-hop. The song includes a great backbeat that sounds like a musical electric surge.

Next up is “The Newspaper,” a powerful song with a political intonation. With discussion of the ignorant, money-hungry media, “The Newspaper” features the strongest lyrics of all.

“A Father’s Son” showcases a busy bass, cool keys and rich hip-hop textures. Head-nodding to this beat is inevitable.

Greenwood wraps up the album with special versions of “Lifeline” and “Keep Askin’,” which are both acoustic and a little more stripped down, natural and pure. These two tracks will leave listeners in a peaceful mood and yearning for more magical Cope jams.

The album marks the release of some of Greenwood’s most honest lyrics to date. His sound simply can’t be duplicated. “The Rainwater LP” is packed with passion and definitely provides enough incentive to check out Citizen Cope’s distinctively intimate live performances.

Reach the reporter at lenni.rosenblum@asu.edu