What strange times we live in wherein the era of European-inspired maladies transfers back over to the eccentric singer-songwriter camp of present day. In this effort of the alt-alt-wrongdoers America has put forth Father John Misty, Britain has conjured up Jake Bugg and Syd Arthur, while Germany presents, among others, Jody Cooper. Cooper, a student of the pop-adjacent movement, if not a practitioner himself, is not so much bizarre as he is attempting to understand the bizarre. Cooper’s Serenades and Odes To A Cracked World (Part 1) may be playing it safe, but it is certainly a positive repository of tracks nonetheless.
In Serenades, Cooper asks where all the merrymakers have gone, with an album chock full of anthems crafted to unite global peoples and entities rather than divide due to classes or social constructs. This method brings to mind the likes of Cooper’s forefathers (Bono and the boys, for example) even on as microscopic a level as a tribute in the form of the track name – “One” – easily the standout tune with the most traction.
Though, for how uniquely Cooper kicks off the record, he nonetheless plays his cards close to his vest buttons for the remainder of Serenades. “The Great Divide” is about as ubiquitous as a Scorpions deep cut, “It’s Alright” is nearly impossible to decode past the relative amount of fluff. That being said, perhaps that Cooper’s game – something truly universal for the guys and gals hearing it.
Serenades and Odes To A Cracked World (Part 1) may be overly simplistic in parts, but it can’t be faulted for what is quite possibly some of the most non-offensive and carefully crafted tunes for universal listening out there. In a time where so much art divides, Cooper is simply asking to build up.