Hopefully the first of many to come, for my first review I’d like to critique one of my favourite albums. Copeland isn’t one of my favourite bands (although they are very good), but there’s something about their last studio LP; You Are My Sunshine, that I just absolutely adore. Released in 2008, it is an incredibly mellow and uplifting collection of songs that is easy to listen to, and also works as pretty good stress relief. At any given time, I can just play it right through from start to finish and never get tired of it.
The record begins with the track “Should You Return”, with the soft, crooning vocals of Aaron Marsh, immediately lulling you into a sense of serenity. The vocal harmonies used in this song (and throughout the album, but most prominently on “Should You Return”) are stunning, and for me, they are one of the most defining factors that attribute to the overall vibe and sound of the album. Combined with the ambient piano, trance-like guitars, and the array of other unconventional instruments such as bassoon, flugelhorn and violins, the resulting mix is something I’m yet to hear any other band achieve.
As you listen, Copeland make several shifts back and forth between darker, moody tones on tracks like “To Be Happy Now” and “Strange and Unprepared”, to more cheerful and optimistic vibes, which govern most of the tracks. But the best part about this release is that while every song has obviously been very carefully thought out in terms of mood, tone and texture etc, it always remains beautifully simplistic in it’s execution. It never gets too cluttered or over-done. Copeland have managed to strike the perfect balance of instrumentation and musicality, succeeding in creating a depth of sound that generates the right atmosphere and pulls it off without ever being too ambitious.
The best part about this record is that we’re lucky to have received it at all. After Eat, Sleep, Repeat in 2006, Copeland parted ways with their bassist James Likeness, dumped their record label, and showed all signs of splitting up entirely. So it is a privilege to be able to listen to You Are My Sunshine, and I’m so glad they decided to put it out before disbanding in 2009.
With all this in mind, I can easily give You Are My Sunshine a well-deserved 8/10.
Thanks for reading my first-ever review on this site! Let me know what you thought by leaving me a comment.