April 14, 2005

Copeland: In Motion

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There are many albums that grab your attention right away — you throw it on and you just know it’s a keeper. Of course there are many albums that don’t seem to do anything for you. Listening to the new Copeland full length, In Motion, my original reaction was a passive fondness of a band in the process of maturation. The quartet’s freshmen release, Beneath Medicine Tree, displayed a unique, fresh taste of piano-driven rock; it was, to say the least, a pleasant surprise full of intensity and emotion right from the start. On In Motion I expected similar concepts only to find myself severely mistaken.

Beneath Medicine Tree was solid. It had everything you could ask for, a great lead singer complimenting a soft rock vibe occasionally mixed with a hint of jazz. However, In Motion absolutely sky rockets to the next level, but don’t expect it to knock your socks off right away. The album will, without a doubt, gain more and more brownie points each time you hear it. To give you an idea of how amazing this album is, let me just add that it is definitely the best album to be released so far this year. The group has matured to a level unheard of for many bands throughout their entire career. Copeland now sounds like a band, a collective piece fronted with flawless vocals, rather than one guy and three other people playing in the background.

In Motion begins with the powerful “No One Really Wins,” an emotional ride from start to finish. “Choose The One Who Loves You More” will sell you with a unique, drum-based sound that’s peacefully and quietly accompanied by lead singer Aaron Marsh’s sporadic vocals. “Pin Your Wings,” the first release off the album, has a similar indie sound and again delivers right on cue. “Sleep” is astounding, to say the least; the piano accompanies Marsh on every note only to be met with a dramatic bass line. The only song stopping me from giving this album a perfect rating is “Kite.” Although earnest and well-delivered, “Kite” displays Marsh’s vocal talents matched with piano yet again, but the vibe is lost, extremely out of place and only disrupts the flow of the album. “Love is a Fast Song” is one of the best on the album. It’s a dramatic roller coaster ride beginning with an eerie guitar riff, then morphing into a leisurely pace only to jump back into a raging yet emotional guitar frenzy. “You Have My Attention” is absolutely a work of art. As you might have guessed, it’s one of the many cutesy emo-ish tracks. Marsh sings, “you have my attention like you’ve had all the while/ since that first day when you made my heart smile/ with loving eyes and tired sighs that flow.” The album closes with “Hold Nothing Back” where Marsh starts out hitting every note, only to be met on key with an acoustic guitar strumming. “Hold Nothing Back” can only be described as sensational and perfect, especially as the closing song of such a compelling album. Although only ten songs in length, In Motion delivers a strong performance from the first note to the last. If you’ve never listened to Copeland, now is the time to start.

Archived article by Adrian Prieto
Sun Staff Writer