Citizen Cope: Every Waking Moment

With the release of his third album, Clarence Greenwood, a.k.a. Citizen Cope, is back with more of his organic-feeling original pieces. Known for blending hip-hop, rock and R&B to create unique and bluesy soundscapes, Cope has little in common with the average singer-songwriter.

Every Waking Moment is the follow-up to 2004’s The Clarence Greenwood Recordings, and it is easy to see the connections between the two albums. Although Every Waking Moment focuses more on broader and more abstract themes while the previous album’s songs seemed to center on specific tales, it is easy to forget that the new album is, in fact, new.

Each song feels like something from an older album, something listened to a thousand times before, though they are all original works. “Brother Lee,” a fast-paced, rap-inspired tune, for example, is just one of the songs that will strike listeners as something from a previous album. The intro to the song is almost an exact match to the intro to “Son’s Gonna Rise” from The Clarence Greenwood Recordings.

Other songs are not so recognizable, and offer a breath of fresh air to the overplayed musical offerings found on the radio and MTV. “All Dressed Up” is reminiscent of slow-paced Motown songs from the ’60s.

And while the music is a blast from the past, the lyrics, almost solely a repetition of “She’s out on the town and she’s all dressed up/I couldn’t get enough of her,” add to the feel by creating an easy sing-along experience for even the first time listener.

“Somehow” and “More Than It Seems” serve as the album’s easy-listening love songs. “More Than It Seems” serves as the unrequited love track, with Cope telling the object of his affection that love is possible for them. Lyrics such as “We can make it outside my dreams” are familiar to any who have suffered an unrequited love.

“Somehow,” on the other hand, is an attempt at keeping an existing love, telling her how much love he has for her; declarations of love abound throughout the song. With lyrics asking, “Could you believe me somehow/You’re second to none/And you got my love/You got me under the gun,” it is a song sure to invoke feelings of love and sadness.

For the expected political rant, look no further than “John Lennon.” Stealing a line from a previous rant, “Hurricane Waters,” Cope sings about the division between the urban and suburban worlds and the violence that plagues the nation. For anyone who was a fan of “Bullet and a Target,” this is a must-listen, though a slower song and not as rhyme-filled as the last hit.

Cope’s album is a must-have for any music fan. With combined sounds and influences that reach across all genres, there is sure to be something on the album please everyone.