Citizen Cope combines

Apr 242002
Authors: Phil Davidson

A new player has emerged onto the music scene.

Creating an entirely new sound, Citizen Cope describes themselves as a blend between G. Love and Special Sauce and Basehead, according to their press release.

Clarence Greenwood, the former DJ from Basehead who writes the music, sings and plays the keyboard, leads Citizen Cope.

Jay Nichols, the drummer, Daniel Parker, the bassist, and Jim Connolly, on turntables, make up the rest of the band.

Greenwood grew up in Tennessee and Texas, eventually moving to Washington, D.C., where he met up with the rest of the band members.

The album has a soulful sound, and Greenwood’s scratchy voice gives each song a unique quality.

Greenwood writes several songs that have biblical ties, such as “Hands of the Saints.” However, he focuses more on storytelling and discussing issues that plague today’s society.

“Contact” discusses the problems the judicial system has with imprisonment rather than education of the country’s youth.

“Let the Drummer Kick” is one of the catchier songs, with a stronger beat and more of a reggae rhythm and sound.

Citizen Cope names Stevie Wonder, Randy Newman, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles, Sly Stallone, Bob Marley, Willie Nelson and Woodie Guthrie as their main influences, according to their Web site. This diverse mixture of influence is definitely manifested in full force in their songs.

Greenwood said he wanted to change the composition of pop music in today’s society, according to an article in

Citizen Cope has played with Bjork, The Chemical Brothers, Pete Yorn and Queens of the Stone Age, among others.

The album overall has a very different sound, combining the mellow jam-band sound with hip-hop and jazz. The songs flow together well, and the album is something people who enjoy new things are sure to like. This album is not likely to make it big on mainstream radio, but will generate a strong underground following. n

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