Citizen Cope Citizen Cope

CMJ: "...A peculiar alt-funk treasure..."
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33 ratings
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Format:  CD
item number:  WD97
on most orders of $75+
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CD Details

  • Released: March 14, 2006
  • Originally Released: 2006
  • Label: Dreamworks

Entertainment Reviews:

Rolling Stone - 6/6/02, p.78
3.5 stars out of 5 - "...Cope melds hip-hop with folk, soul and blues...and 'feels' this combination deeply....Cope's uncommon chords and harmonies combine delicate dissonance with unexpected flashes of beauty..."
CMJ - 8/20/01, p.10
"...A peculiar alt-funk treasure..."
Vibe - 3/02, p.178
3.5 discs out of 5 - "...Like a skateboarder who catches hold of moving buses, he borrows from rap's momentum without conforming to the genre's limitations on his solo debut..."


Product Description:

Contains a hidden track following "Holdin' On".
Citizen Cope: Clarence Greenwood (vocals. guitar, Clavinet, keyboards, programming, vinyl scratches).
Additional personnel includes: David Mann (flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Me'shell Ndegeocello (bass); Omar Hakim (drums); Bashiri Johnson (percussion).
Engineers include: Bob Power, Erica Weintraub, Michael "Funky Ned" Neal.
Personnel: Clarence Greenwood (vocals, guitar, Clavinet, keyboards, drum programming, turntables); Peter Davis , Michelle Lewis (vocals); Bob Power (guitar, electric piano, drum programming); Jesse Levy (cello); David Mann (flute, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); John Ginty (piano, organ, hand claps, percussion); Kenneth Wright (keyboards); Jay Nichols, Abe Laboriel, Jr. (drums); Danny Parker (hand claps, percussion); Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Jim Connolly (turntables).
Audio Mixer: Bob Power.
Recording information: Battery, Shelter Island, Right Track, Worldbeat Studio,; Central Studio, Bladensberg, MD; Hit Land, Alpharetta, Hot Box, Stone Mountain, GA; House Of Blues Studio, Memphis, TN; One World Studio, Washington DC.
Photographer: Christian Lantry.
If there were such a thing as an urban beatnik, Citizen Cope, aka Clarence Greenwood, would be it. His unique message-oriented self-titled debut is in the spirit of music by Wyclef Jean and Arrested Development, but rich in his own brand of underground street stylings, which find their flavor in the sounds and soul of the Deep South. The album combines an ever-so-slight bit of island flavor, R&B, hip-hop, smoky-club lounge, and blues. The former live keyboardist and DJ for Basehead fills his songs -- which are often cool, laid-back, and understated -- with messages surrounding the struggles of life, but more so, street life. And Greenwood's voice is smooth and full of yearning, but not over the top. It can be likened to the style of Maxwell. Listeners, whatever they take from this innovative disc, will no doubt walk away feeling as if they just exited a small, hole-in-the-wall club -- the kind that oozes character and atmosphere -- at six AM, squinting at the blaring morning sun. There are many winning moments on this disc. "Contact" describes how cops sometimes wrongfully stop and even arrest youth. The slow and shuffling "If There's Love" is steeped in Southern blues flavor and portrays love's power to lift the human spirit in a difficult world. Elsewhere, "Salvation" and "Holdin' On," in their understated and minimalist approach, are the disc's home runs. The bare yet abundant tracks feature a shuffling snare and brush playing, with Greenwood's haunting and raspy voice floating on top. Greenwood is an artist with very personal and social messages on his mind. His outlet for these thoughts is a musical soundtrack in a class all by itself. Whether the theme is perseverance, street hustling, or lust, Greenwood gets his point across loud and clear in his modest approach, and captivates audiences with his cool and hypnotic brand of underground street music. After listening to this choice disc, it becomes clear as to why Greenwood chose Citizen Cope as his performing name. He, like everyone else, is just trying to live through the day, as his music suggests. For those looking for an inspiring, creative, and refreshing outlet to help them cope in daily life, or if you're simply looking to enjoy some great, unconventional music, this winning debut will more than get you by. ~ Liana Jonas

Product Info

  • UPC: 600445027121
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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