Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Review: Freeland - Cope (* * * 1/2)

Adam Freeland, DJ/Producer extraordinaire, takes a stab at synth- heavy rock 'n' roll with his latest record, Cope, bringing a host of friends along for the ride. For the band, Tommy Lee is on drums and Twiggy Ramirez on bass, with Joey Santiago of The Pixies and Tony Bevilacqua of Distillers on guitars. Additionally, while new Freeland frontman Kurt Baumann gets a few vocal cuts, Brody Dalle of the Distillers and Gerald V. Casale from Devo each get a chance to shine on the record as well. The result is an album that's made both for the openness of an arena and the intensity of a club, bold, dark, and entertaining, with some truly electrifying moments to be found within the twelve tracks.

First single and lead track "Do You" is an immediate highlight; danceable and sexy, the song should serve its simple purpose in getting you to move right from the start. "Under Control" and "Strange Things" follow suit, though they expand the lyrical content slightly, the former sounding something like an LCD Soundsystem cover, the latter a gothic-tinged rock tune. From there, the record gets a bit less consistent, with a few songs like "Mancry" adding little to the proceedings (though the drumming is quite excellent), and others, like the guest spots "Borderline" (Dalle) and "Only a Fool" (Casale) sounding fresh and appropriately fun. When all is said and done, the record as a whole comes across as intelligently produced and enjoyably decadent, with a little something for everybody to be found with in the album's nearly hour-long run time. Fortunately, as eclectic as Cope may feel to some, it also has a remarkable cohesiveness.

Allowing the focus to remain on the vocals without sacrificing the attention to detail and texture found on any decent electronica record, Adam Freeland pulls off what might have been an awkward combination of genres gracefully. Though not every song succeeds completely, Cope has the feel of a project heading in the right direction and Freeland, the band, that is, is a group I'll be excited to hear more from in the future.

Take a trip down to the Freeland website to hear the whole album and watch a video for "Do You" below:

Freeland 'Do You' UK Live Tour Video from Freeland on Vimeo.


Heavy Rocker said...

Interesting they use Vimeo instead of the standard Youtube. I couldn't see anything to excite in their music though. Good luck with your reviews and so forth.