Album: Eat, Sleep, Repeat
Label: The Militia Group
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2006
Review by: Eric Pettersson
With a splashing 2003 debut, Beneath Medicine Tree, the Florida-based four-piece Copeland instantly rose to success (or at least what can be considered success for an indie rock band). Fans were drawn to their heartfelt and honest lyrics, sitting comfortably on top of mountains of relaxing yet passionate piano or guitar. Then in 2005, Copeland released In Motion, which only drew in more fans with better production and a more polished sound. Vocalist Aaron Marsh’s ability to make the male soprano sound easy became iconic in the indie rock scene, not to mention the bane of every up and coming male singer who would like to think he has a high voice. Now at the end of 2006, after months of hearing about a new album, Copeland has finally given us Eat, Sleep, Repeat.
“Where’s My Head” comes out sounding more like an intro than a first song with the melody played on bells, an airy drone in the background, and schizophrenic drums. The title track, “Eat, Sleep, Repeat” brings back the guitars, a smooth bass line, and Jonathan Bucklew’s signature jazzy drumming. This song sings of how life is impossibly difficult without love. The first single, “Control Freak,” is led by a catchy piano melody and a possibly dancable drum rhythm, with guitar added for the chorus. This is the first of two pop sing-a-longs, yet Marsh’s voice still goes above the average girl’s range for the bridge. Led by guitars, “Careful Now” starts off sounding a little darker and opens with the lines “Well maybe you should make a list for me of everything important in this world, in order of urgency, cause I don’t know how to feel.” Everything is resolved within three minutes with the addition of strings, and “Love Affair” slows things down with it’s piano base, as it tells of a girl whose heart has been broken and is left questioning what she did wrong. The chorus begs twice “Just let me run where I want to run. Just let me love who I want to love,” before everything eventually takes a very jazz feel with a few brass instruments, strings, of course jazzy drumming, and Aaron’s voice and piano even following the feel well. “I’m Safer on an Airplane” brings a more electronic feel, yet still very slow and calm, while declaring that it would be safer in an airplane or standing on the jetway, than in a world with hope, peace, or love. The next pop sing-a-long brings back the honesty of Beneath Medicine Tree with lyrics that admit to making mistakes but still saying “I need you to tell me you’ll be right by my side.” The strings return for the short, upbeat “Cover What You Can,” which features a chorus effect on the vocal track, giving Aaron’s voice a more lush yet obviously studio enhanced sound. “The Last Time He Saw Dorie” continues this vocal effect, while taking a piano led approach with ambient tones fading in and out. The second half of the lyrics are sung by a girl, and the strings take an almost classical feel. “I’m a Sucker for a Kind Word” brings back the catchiness of In Motion, complete with a distorted guitar added towards the end of the song, and it also offers some of the best lyrics on the whole album. Eat, Sleep, Repeat closes with its longest and most beautifully written and arranged song, “When You Thought You’d Never Stand Out.” The strings make their final mark, and the female vocals return for some great layering at the end.
While Copeland may or may not have just released the best album of their career thus far, Eat, Sleep, Repeat is certainly no disappointment for fans new or old. Those who most enjoy sensitive, honest lyrics will probably still claim Beneath Medicine Tree as their favorite, and those who most enjoy catchy and smart melodies will probably still go for In Motion. However, those who can appreciate a solid album that is all about beauty and a push to do something new musically will fall in love with Eat, Sleep, Repeat. This album is Elegance in Transience.
Note: This article originally appeared in Voices, the teen section of the Reading Eagle, and is technically their property. Used with permission.