Copeland – You Are My Sunshine

Band: Copeland
Album: You Are My Sunshine
Genre: Alternative Pop Rock
Label: Tooth and Nail

Tracks:
1. Should You Return
2. The Grey Man
3. Chin Up
4. Good Morning Fire Eater
5. To Be Happy Now
6. The Day I Lost My Voice
7. On The Safest Ledge
8. Not Allowed
9. Strange and Unprepared
10. What Do I Know?
11. Not So Tough To Find Out

Let us rewind back to my life two years ago– I had begun my freshman year of college, along with my neverending binge of Ramen Noodles and Dr. Pepper. More importantly, I was FREE from the parentals which, for those of you who don’t know, is equal to as many concerts as I want, whenever I want (including school nights!). While you may not care, this is pertinent to alternative/pop rockers, Copeland. My first concert as a college kid was Limbeck. Guess who they were playing with. 

Copeland’s 2006 release, Eat, Sleep, Repeat, set a very high standard for the band. Having only released an album of B-Sides and remakes in the past two years, and losing a member, I was beginning to lose hope of any new material. Imagine my surprise when I heard about the release of the new album. You Are My Sunshine is set for release on October 14, 2008. 

With hesitation and a fear of being let down, I double-clicked on track one, “Should You Return.” My fears quickly dwindled. With the overlapping high ranged vocals and piano intro, I was instantly flashed back to that first year of college and my first exposure to Copeland’s previous four releases. “Should You Return” sets the listener up for the rest of the album in the best possible manner. With a steady, yet light, drum cadence and vocals that could only be described as amazing, I am instantly hooked in.

Track two, “The Grey Man,” was actually released to the public in advance. This song is probably one of the more catchy on the album. The chorus, which takes advantage of repetitive lyrics, is the type that will stick in your head after only having one listen. Combine this with the heavy piano chords used throughout the duration of the song and you’ve got a classic indie/pop song. 

My favorite song on You Are My Sunshine is “The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song).” Musically, the song features what sounds like an over-electronified drum kit. Seriously– think The Postal Service and then add some horns every once in a while. Lyrically, the song is typical of Copeland’s style, painting me a vision that resembles the inside of someone’s head, while in deep thought. “Love is drink that goes straight to my head,” is the one line that seems to stick out to me. Beautiful.

The album continues the general trend set by the first half until we reach the final track, “Not So Tough Found Out.” The best way I can describe the final song is by saying that it is ten and a half minutes of pure brilliance. Starting off slowly, we slowly are introduced to layered vocals. The harmonic backing vocals just add a special something that create a somewhat mysterious effect. After about three minutes, we get a  very light, yet distinct, percussive line, as well as some special effects. Moving into the fifth minute, the song gets quite a bit heavier, as more instruments and harmonic parts are added. At about six minutes, we reach climax (oh yeah, I said it), and the song begins to  ease out instruments in the same artistic fashion they were added until we are back to a minimalist feel. 

Overall, I am very impressed. I know I shouldn’t expect anything less than pure perfection from Copeland but I really feel like this album will grasp a spot on my “Favorite Albums of 2008” list. Not often is a band able to release an album that actually inspires deep thought within the mind of a 20 year old. With a slightly more experimental sound than we are used to from these indie/pop rockers,You Are My Sunshine is bound to be a success for Copeland. I definitely recommend picking up a copy of this one. Thank me later.

 

*Written By: Meaghan Allen*
GRADE: 8.5/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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