Copeland
You Are My Sunshine


4.0
excellent

Review

by xNintendoCorex USER (8 Reviews)
October 27th, 2008 | 140 replies | 16,095 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Copeland deliver a rather adventurous look at what happiness should sound like, with a mature level of musicianship, this fourth album is sure to immediately please, but only time will tell how long that initial enthusiasm will last.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Copeland release their brightest album to date, where Eat sleep repeat focused on the mundane, colder and darker set of emotions we experience, 'You are my sunshine' is a complete shift in focus, bringing forth an overall positive sound and painting a beautiful landscape of happiness and every other positive emotion one may encounter.

You are my sunshine, flows through a set of 11 works of art, each song playing off the general themes of love happiness and positivity. The first thing any listener (in particular existing Copeland fans) will notice, is the extreme level of overproduction apparent through the entirety of the album. Every aspect of the record from the vocals to the instruments, have a certain 'warmth' to them. Through either the natural tone or timbre of the instruments or heavy compression and processing it is undeniable that the overall tonality and impression of the album is due in large part to this 'warm sound'.

Aaron marsh's vocals dance a fine line between angelic and annoying, for the most part they work in his favour. With such an airy voice, there is only so much marsh can deliver vocally before it starts to become a rehash of elements from previous songs. The layering of his vocals highlights a subtle interplay between melody and harmony that helps to bring his vocal tracks to life. Though at times taxing, the layering and placement of the vocal tracks in the mix gives his voice a slightly artificial fullness. A perfect example is the cd opener 'Should You Return', the first minute exemplifies the aforementioned sound that crops up in various forms through the record. Lyrically, this album is no shining star. The songs seemingly revolve around relationships, love and life, nothing too standout in that department. But occasionally, mixed with the musical backdrop, manages to paint a lush picture in the mind of listener.

The vast range of instruments along with their individual tone and timbre used on this record is probably the part that will 'make or break' this record for any listener. Verging on over-pretentious and highly ambitious, Copeland deliver what could be described as a 'sonic overload'. For the most part. the songs explodes with the sound of a wall of instruments strongly akin to an orchestra. Each of the individual instruments have a soft voicing on their own. For example the guitar sounds through most of the album are very clean and compressed with a very limited use of overdrive. But with so much going on in each song, it tends to pile up leaving a scenario where each instrument is fighting strongly to be heard. This could be due to the similar tonal range most of the instruments sit in, or the choice of notes/chords used. But either way at times the instruments feel like nothing more than a wall of wailing 'niceness'.

But at the same time, the wide palette of instruments works to bring out the dynamics of many of the songs. Such as is evident on the 7th track 'On the Safest Ledge'. The song starts fairly soft and mellow with a range of 'airy' instruments producing a subtle backdrop for marsh's vocals, eventually moving into the hook of the song. A swirling mix of drums, guitars, woodwind instruments, strings and pianos all ascending up their scales to a crescendo where marsh sings 'keep it all right here safe in my arms'. The song then slowly descends back down to the verse, taking the listener along with the aid of some relaxation of the instruments.

On the other hands songs such as 'Not Allowed', 'Strange and Unprepared' and 'Chin Up'(for the most part) focus on a more minimalistic sound. 'Strange and Unprepared' in particular featuring just a piano (or could be a mellotron) and some background sounds. The problem with the songs executed in this fashion is that marsh's vocals are usually not quite enough to sustain interest in the songs for the listeners, leaving the songs sounding fairly bland.
Copeland have basically left behind their 'rockier' sound that was found on in motion and beneath medicine tree. With a look at maturing their sound, this generally has worked in their favour with this album helping move them further from the 'pop punk' label their previous work was always slapped with. While highly ambitious 'You are....' retains a strong grounding in the use of fairly conventional structures and musical triggers. There are a few flashes and instances where there is a strong focus on the dynamics of the songs, but they are few and far between leaving a lot of the songs sitting in a similar dynamic range which occasionally leads to monotony and a feeling of deja vu.

Sonically, 'You are my sunshine' is a complete divergence from the foundations laid by 'Eat Sleep Repeat' but it still retains a lot of the ideas and growth that Copeland showed in the aforementioned. While the latter record focused on the sadder aspects of life, this record shifts its focus entirely and with a more refined and mature sound, manages to drag the listeners into the mood. At the end of the day, you will either hate this album or love it, i don't think there really is a middle ground with music of this vein (ie Illuminate by Lydia).

In conclusion, Copeland have delivered another stellar record, while fixing some of the flaws of previous works, they manage to introduce a few more, making the album fall short of what it could've been. Whether you view it as 1 long piece or a set of intertwined works, Copeland bring just enough melody and harmony to leave you feeling slightly more positive.



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user ratings (245)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nathaniel Fritz (4.5)
Everybody knows that you'd break your neck to keep your chin up....


Comments:Add a Comment 
roofi
October 28th 2008



959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is seriously freaking awesome, probably my favorite album of the year.

ASberg
October 28th 2008



2161 Comments


I gotta get this. Now.

AlexTM510
October 28th 2008



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Awesome review

I was listening to this while i was getting on the website so that was intriguing.

And they actually use a bassoon on like 2 of the songs. I know they use it on "Not So Tough Found Out" and the other i don't recall at the moment.

xNintendoCorex
October 28th 2008



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks man, yeh i knew they used some woodwind here and there, im pretty sure theres a clarinet or oboe in there as well.

honestly, hard to tell at times because the songs are usually jam packed with sounds

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I thought this was pretty safe and underwhelming.

SnackaryBinx
October 28th 2008



2309 Comments


/facepalm

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I see you're saving your rating until you see what staff users think. A wise move. You wouldn't want to risk disagreement.

SnackaryBinx
October 28th 2008



2309 Comments


actually, I've never listened to this and I'm in school sh*t for brains.This Message Edited On 10.28.08

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ah school. That explains a lot.

xNintendoCorex
October 28th 2008



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im intrigued to see what sort of response this gets in general, most of the people i know who have heard it have had completely mixed responses to it.

SnackaryBinx
October 28th 2008



2309 Comments


oh man, you think you're higher than someone because you're so "educated" about people who pawn to the staff!

that's new, you're just a fucking faggot.

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well I can talk to someone without resorting to swearing and homophobia and I know the difference between pawn and pander...

SnackaryBinx
October 28th 2008



2309 Comments


You don't use swearing true! You just throw around the word generic without saying anything else.

Kiran
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



6000 Comments


My friends hyped the shit out of this but I never really saw what was so special about Copeland. Highly doubt I'll like this with the couple of songs I heard in mind.

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5


You don't use swearing true! You just throw around the word generic without saying anything else.


If someone is generic it's self explanatory. The lyrics, songwriting and instrumentation is tyical of the genre and hence it does nothing to stand out from the crowd and isn't worth my time listening to, when other bands are more interesting doing a similar style.

The word generic simply sums all that up in one word and saves me a paragraph.

xNintendoCorex
October 28th 2008



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeh, but you say it about like every band in every genre.....theres not a whole lot left to 'stand out from the crowd' when everyones being labelled generic

lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have rated over 500 albums. Just take a look to see what music I don't consider generic.

Although not everything bad is generic by any means. I don't even think Copeland are generic I just don't think they are particularly good.

xNintendoCorex
October 28th 2008



1272 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

*481

well, exactly what about them is it that you think is bad. ie is it the songwriting, the delivry of the sons, vocals etc.....whatever

dont think im attacking you, im just very interested in your opinion.



lunchforthesky
October 28th 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

They are too bland. Everything about their band is a bit too safe and nice. His vocals has no edge but aren't good enough to have Sigur Ros beauty to them. The music is basically the same, it's soft inoffensive and pleasant yet is still really accesible and pop punkish, only slowed down.

Nothing about them stands out as being special for me.

marksellsuswallets
October 28th 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I can't believe I'm about to say this...but...I agree with lunch on this one haha...this album just kinda bores me...



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