The Clarence Greenwood Recordings

While Citizen Cope's 2002 self-titled debut on DreamWorks boasted several memorable tunes, the second half of the album petered out with bland material.

While Citizen Cope's 2002 self-titled debut on DreamWorks boasted several memorable tunes, the second half of the album petered out with bland material. Not so on this, Cope's second CD and first with RCA. All 11 tracks are compelling in their own right, from the unusual characters Cope (aka Clarence Greenwood) sketches to the sonic colors and textures he layers into the mix. His nasal, rough-hewn vocals that he often double- and triple-tracks are a strong calling card, as is his prowess on several instruments that he overlays for groove effect. Cope's wordsmithery is street-wise, plaintive and atypical ("Pablo Picasso"); his style is all-inclusive with hints of reggae, shades of hip-hop, allusions to Memphis soul, a sprinkling of Latin jazz percussion and even a clopping country lope on "D'Artagnan's Theme." Guests include Carlos Santana and Me'shell Ndegeocello. Highly recommended.—DO