13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Vive Le Revolution!,
This review is from: Psychedelic Revolution (Audio CD)
The first of two Cope albums set for 2012; I'd actually give this 4.5/5 but that's not an option. Firstly, I'd advise people not to be put off by the gun-toting throughout the inlay and on the sleeve, it seems to be inciting mayhem and protest rather than murder, beating you round the head with strong imagery so you know just where he's coming from. Unlike recent years the focus seems to have shifted from specific attacks on organised religion, consumerism, politics and the US. A lot of people will tell you how you should feel and what views you should have: This is Cope presenting his own ideals and saying (not verbatim) "Hey, maybe there's something here you can use" There's no sense of demanding you share his opinions; start your own revolution as it were. He once said at a gig that we were all there purely because there's a lot wrong with the world and we know it and don't like it; that's pretty much where this is coming from.
Musically the album is fantastic. There's a lot of his recent folk leanings still present but also plenty of the wonderfully sterile synth pop all capped off with Black Sheep harmonies and Cope's voice in top form. This album works almost like a distant relative of You Gotta Problem, Black Sheep and The Unruly Imagination. If you're one of those bad people that disregards lyrics, you'll love it anyway, it's incredibly melodic.
For everyone else: Some tracks you might skip, others you might love, I enjoyed virtually all of them but that's just me. However, there are several songs that are quintessential Cope from the word go. I'll talk up just a couple:
'Raving On The Moor' is storming, moody and melodic; it's the perfect album opener which broods stop-start wah-wah before turning into a tearaway pounding of rant n rave. This will no doubt be a live staple for years to come and it nestles as one of his most rousing between the likes of Soul Desert, Elegant Chaos and Reynard effortlessly.
'Hooded and Benign' is a tricky one. Musically it's almost too pretty to be a Cope track. The beauty of it is astonishing, especially in that first half. Lots of sound reinforcing lyrics here with a gush of water sounding the soft croon of "Though the storm is in a teacup people drown / Turn to drink if they lose face around their town" This is a track about Death (the person) and how our silly human sensibilities can lead us to have the wrong impression entirely. This isn't the first turn to the poignant that Cope has made; remember Black Sheep's 'I Can Remember This Life'. This one is bolstered by 'As The Beer Flows Over Me' - a rustic ballad of a northern funeral. The back end of disc one is quite intoxicating in its bleakness but his views on the matter make for a remarkable milestone in the back-catalogue.
Women's liberation sees another go around with 'X-Mass in the Woman's Shelter'. It takes his earlier scope on the subject to a higher plateau. Incredibly earnest and driven by very pure intention. Off the top of my head I can't recall a time Julian's music ever sounded so beautiful. This is one you cannot do without.
I cried, laughed and thought very hard about a lot of things I wouldn't usually consider. There's a lot of talk surrounding this one, not all of it good but there's some astonishing moments here. To me this isn't just one of the better latter-day Cope albums, it's one his best full stop.
As the man himself sings: "Maybe this could work for you too"
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Initial post: 1 Jul 2012 13:08:15 BDT
Mr. M. R. Palmer says:
Excellent review. I would give it 4 stars out of 5 as I'm not a big fan of a couple of the songs on cd2, but it's an album I thoroughly enjoyed. Hoping that album 2 of 2012 is just as good!
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