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Every Waking Moment

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Album Review

There are a number of artists — Everlast, G. Love, Mat Kearney — who, while staying firmly within blues and rock, bring in hip-hop tendencies, with varying degrees of success. Citizen Cope is another one who could be added to that group, although the only "rap" he actually incorporates into his music is relegated to an occasional singsongy, quickly spoken line and some internal rhyme. This, along with the characters he created and sang about, was what won him fans on his first two albums, and it's something he continues onto his next. For Every Waking Moment, however, Cope has a slightly broader approach to his songwriting, telling more abstract stories that aim toward the universal rather than the specific. He has that gruff, world-weary kind of voice that sounds like it's seen a few too many things and had a few too many whiskeys, and the band does a pretty good job of taking a standard bluesy line and embellishing it until it almost shines. The best track on the entire album, in fact, is "Awe," an instrumental, because it allows room for them to show off some of their many influences, and ends up with some nice Latin and blues-tinged acoustic guitar-driven rock. It's nothing extraordinary, but the groove is pretty tight, the horns are clean, and the drums are intricate and fun, and it works well with the rest of Every Waking Moment. Cope's catchy, melodic lyrics are here as well ("I got a Brother named Lee who looks a lot like me/He's got a lot of enemies," he sings on "Brother Lee"), and the album should please fans of any of his previous work.

Biography

Formed: Memphis, TN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Citizen Cope is both a person (singer/songwriter Clarence Greenwood) and an acoustic-driven band. Born in Memphis and raised in Washington, D.C., Greenwood is the leader of the group, and he steers the band's soulful sound by serving as keyboardist, guitarist, lead singer, DJ, songwriter, and producer. Greenwood first broke into the music business by appearing on albums by Maryland-based rapper Basehead (1993's Not in Kansas Anymore and 1996's Faith), and he used that momentum to issue his first...
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Every Waking Moment, Citizen Cope
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