This is a review of "The Way I See It" recorded by Danny Cope. The review was written by Sam Saunders in 2003.
If you love taut song writing, spring loaded guitar playing and adult emotions, go buy "The way I See It".
This is well written, fully mature and perfectly realised music. Danny Cope has a lifetime of experience and involvement n the wretched business. He still loves it like a big kid should and his songs are full of the optimism and self doubt that hound the generations of people who never want to grow out of loving three minute pop songs. No matter how complex the rest of life gets.
Names like Squeeze and Crowded House come to mind. There’s a certain dry perfection in the way that all the lyrical and musical bits slot together. This isn’t "potential" or "promise" - this is it. Danny Cope knows how to do it, where hundreds fail.
What he does is full of melodic interest, wonderful guitarishness and very sweet melancholy. Opening up with "the b side", whose rhythmic surge reminds me of Paul Brady, Cope establishes his head and shoulders status as top songwriter on the block. "Lets hear the b side" he sings. Bloody hell, if this is the b side, what else has he got? The perkiness of the opener (mainly sustained in Cope’s own Rolls Royce bass lines) reappears throughout the album, punctuating a slightly mournful David Grayness with a much more endearing hopefulness.
"Who I am" at track nine is a classic bittersweet goose bump moment. I love this song so much. It has a singable tune, gently intelligent lyrics, a heartbreaking mood and a wonderfully right guitar phrase at just the emotionally killing moment ... "she told me my dreams are dead / that I should live another life instead / and I’ve been mislead she said..." and a run of four guitar notes ascending like the gentlest dreams trying to escape the inevitable death of the inner life. Woah.
But it is subtle, and you rawk kids ain’t gonna like it. It’s adult stuff and you’re more likely to hear it in the car when your Dad has Radio 2 on. So come back in twenty years or so. But if you’re not quite so devil’s horns, check out the Bens (Folds or Kweller) and then trade up to Danny Cope. He’s a gold plated songwriter whose material could be used by less well-mannered performers to very good advantage. He’s also a talented musician who plays all the album’s instruments to a standard that makes the rest of us sound like we keep our gloves on. On percussion, take a bow Courtenay Daniel for some immaculately sympathetic playing.