Copeland
You Are My Sunshine


5.0
classic

Review

by dmathias52 USER (7 Reviews)
March 17th, 2019 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You'll never know, dear, how much I love you.

There is a comfort in finding unfamiliarity in the familiar. A certain freckle on someone’s nose that you’ve never noticed. A slight stutter that only comes out when someone gets excited. A burst of sweet in your favorite savory Indian food. A detail in the story of how your parents met that you’ve never been told before. These little signs are facts that these things that are important to you, that you love, will always have something new to offer you. That you’ll never tire of returning to them. With You Are My Sunshine, Copeland master the familiar unknown.

For the style of lush, emo rock that Copeland play, You Are My Sunshine is an uncharacteristically immediate listen. Aaron Marsh’s ability to write choruses is nearly unparalleled by his contemporaries, and this is seen in full flow throughout You Are My Sunshine. Each song has the ability to become an earworm, with a wide variety of choruses employed. “The Day I Lost My Voice (The Suitcase Song)” relies on a simple melody, “To Be Happy Now” is the song-name repeated over a catchy guitar lick, while “On The Safest Ledge” has an extended chorus that relies on metaphor. This three song spread across the middle of the album is fairly sonically similar, but each offers an entirely unique melody that means they all have their own clear identity.

Another three song spread that is the highlight of the album, and potentially still the highlight of Copeland’s incredibly consistent discography, is the opening trio of tracks “On the Safest Ledge” is one of Marsh’s best vocal performances, with the vocals layering on top of each to create haunting harmonies, often floating in a heavenly falsetto that makes the crashing down to his (still angelic) head voice later in the song even more emotionally impactful. Guitarist Bryan Laurenson also makes his presence known on the song, with a guitar line following the chorus through the song that is at least as memorable as the chorus. “The Grey Man” makes good use of a driving drum beat and changing tempos, all while Marsh delivers heartbreaking lyrics of being unable to escape heartbreak. This all culminates in the bridge, with perhaps his most impressive vocal performance of the album and a panging, memorable line:

Run, run fast enough to lose yourself
Our legs were straight but only move in circles.


This stunning three track opening culminates in “Chin Up”, the magnum opus of Copeland’s career. Strings swell in and out throughout the album, but are put to the best use in this song that slowly grows into a more and more passionate atmosphere. Beginning simply with piano and Marsh’s vocals, the song ends with a full orchestral suite, overlapping vocal lines, a driving drumbeat, the best chorus in the album, and elegant lyrics.

You’d break your neck to keep your chin up.

All of this only addresses the immediacy of the album, the beautiful details that you reveal themselves on early listens. Repeated returns to the album are when the intricacies really start to show themselves. A new layer of instruments being found in “Good Morning Fire Eater”. The subtle ringing of a distorted guitar adding to the anxiety of “Not Allowed”. The vibrato in Marsh’s voice when his humming becomes open mouthed in “Strange and Unprepared”. The fact that what you always assumed was a drumbeat in the background of the guitar solo of “What Do I Know"” may actually be clapping or even a synth. Ten minute closer “Not So Much Found Out"” has too many undiscovered easter eggs to even choose one.

There is a fear in the fact that something can be so familiar, so comforting, so beloved, but still have something new. Something that will catch you off guard. Something that might change your entire understanding of what it is. But sometimes you discover that little detail that adds more. That detail may not seem seem significant to most, but can change your whole perspective. This idea that something, or someone, or somewhere may be known by you, by many people, but this detail is yours and yours alone - And to share it is to share the small beauties in life. You Are My Sunshine captures the beauty and pain in life on a scale that everyone can understand, but with the details that make privy to you alone.



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user ratings (342)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
roofi (4.5)
Everybody knows that you'd break your neck to keep your chin up....

xNintendoCorex (4)
Copeland deliver a rather adventurous look at what happiness should sound like, with a mature level ...



Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
March 16th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Revisiting their discography after Blushing and I had no reason to not five this. I wanted to make sure it got the attention it deserved! Now have three Copeland albums rated that way. Honestly, this is worth it just for those opening three tracks.



This is a lengthy review and I'm worried a little meandering, so any sort of feedback would be much appreciated!

Digging: Mike Mains and The Branches - When We Were In Love

AgentDeathbat
March 16th 2019


9753 Comments


Good review! I need to check this one, this sounds like it's amazing.

Digging: Periphery - Periphery IV: Hail Stan

dmathias52
March 16th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Appreciate it man! I remember you liking Blushing, so I think you’d like this for sure. A little less atmospheric, a little more straightforward, but absolutely beautiful I’m it’s own right.

AgentDeathbat
March 16th 2019


9753 Comments


Yeah, I'll be going through all their work.

Lucman
March 16th 2019


2291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lovely review man. This one is so delectably warm and inviting. "Not So Tough...." is a top 3 song by them. "Chin Up" has also been a constant favourite.

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

Slex
March 16th 2019


6406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is so awesome

Digging: Blessed (CAN) - Salt

dmathias52
March 16th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Totally agree. This is probably my go to album. I just know that whatever mood, whatever situation, it’ll always have something to offer me.

Slex
March 16th 2019


6406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Interesting to see people's favorites, Good Morning Fire Eater is my #1 favorite song by these guys

dmathias52
March 17th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, that’s what I love about it. Each song had something so unique to offer. Like Good Morning Fire Eater never really clicked with me as much as it did these past couple listen through, but now I can’t get it out of my head.

Slex
March 17th 2019


6406 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Totally agree

Also the female vox on this album are just heavenly

dmathias52
March 17th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yessss I had a whole section dedicated to that, but unfortunately cut it for length. The vocals in “Not So Tough . . .” are absolutely beautiful, but also have such a unique sound.

SowingSeason
Moderator
March 17th 2019


30185 Comments


Still need to get on this. Have only heard Ixora and Blushing.

Nice write up.

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

dmathias52
March 17th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks Sowing! This is a pretty clear transition into the sound of Ixora and Blushing. It seems like your pretty into electronic music, which means I don’t think this would not Blushing off its pedestal for you, but it still has so much to offer.



Here’s a link to Chin Up, for your listening pleasure: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RcJL5QVfm6I





Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 17th 2019


15464 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. Still their best for me but also because it connects to one of the happiest periods of my life.

Digging: Ioanna Gika - Thalassa

dmathias52
March 17th 2019


216 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you Dewinged! Glad to hear you have positive memories associated with this. It's interesting that it could so easily be interpreted as being an incredibly positive album or a pretty downbeat one. It's mood depends on mine, basically.



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