Thursday, February 16, 2006
My Top 20 of 2005, #19: James Cooper-Second Season.
When a new artist gets the imprimatur of Michael Carpenter, one of the top power pop artists of the last decade, you have to take notice. Carpenter produced Second Season, the debut of James Cooper, and it's definitely a keeper. Cooper's not a Carpenter sound-alike, however; while MC has a more Beatlesque sound, Cooper comes down more on the folkier side of pop. There's some RouseMeadJohnston here, as well as some early Al Stewart, but also some Elvis Costello, and most definitely John Wesley Harding (the artist, not the Dylan album, although there might be a little of that in there as well).
There's more than one version of Second Season floating around. The cdbaby link above is for the UK version of the album, which features two tracks not on the US version: "Dream Trader" and "Never Know Why". So normally I'd suggest getting that one; however, the UK version omits the fine "Beautiful as You", which is found on the US version (and which is the one I bought here - it's the second one down - and listened to). If money's no object, you can get the UK version and this EP, which also has "Beautiful as You", but you'd be spending $9 to get that track. Decisions, decisions.
You can hear samples at all the links above. Unfortunately, Second Season is not available on eMusic (that could have solved the bonus tracks dilemma), and Cooper doesn't appear to have a myspace page. (There is a myspace page for a James Cooper, but it's some 16-year-old kid streaming Green Day and a video at the same time.)
Posted by Steve at 12:54 PM