|Album Review: Copeland - Ixora|
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After a five year hiatus, the acclaimed alt-indie rock band Copeland has made a triumphant return with their sixth studio album Ixora. In late 2009, theTooth & Nail signed group posted a note on their website announcing their break up after a prosperous six year run. This break-up was cited as a mutual and amicable agreement to explore other paths in their lives. In their heyday they toured with phenomenal talent like Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Guster. Oh yeah, this one band opened for them once in 2004, they were called Paramore. At the end of their break-up notification they mentioned that, “It has been discussed and we are not ruling out the possibility of recording one more album sometime in the future.” Thank God they did reunite because Ixora is worth the wait and easily their best album to date.
Ixora is the most matured, delicate and introspective album from Copeland and picks up perfectly where their 2008 album You Are My Sunshine left off. Lead singer Aaron Marsh reflects on the new album stating, “My life is drastically different as a 34-year-old dude married with two kids than it was as a homeless band dude with a lot of young person drama,” This album is introspective and peers into the joys, pains and paths of maturity and adulthood. The album holds the same melodic, emotional and atmospheric production we grew to love while adding a more intricate, complex and delicate touch.
Beginning the album is a light and convicting reflection, “Have I Always Loved You?” This song can be interpreted as one that is not only focused towards ones personal love but also the love each band member always harbored for each other and the project they embarked upon in Florida in 2003.
Many of the songs on the album are about a strong, passionate and unconditional love - different than the hopeless romantic and manic love manifested in their earlier works through songs like “Coffee” or “California.” Aaron’s lyrics in “I Can Make You Feel Young Again,” are poetic and rejuvenating as he sings about the love he holds with his spouse that makes him feel eternally youthful.
One of the standout songs of the album is sixth track “Ordinary.” This song focuses on the monotonous routine that life has become for the band since settling down and having families and how their lives are now “Ordinary.” Though some can perceive the lyrics as melancholic and critical, the beauty and joy in this life radiates through the hopeful and passionate tone resonating in the melodies and lyrics. Life for them has become ordinary and ordinary is exactly how they would like it to be filled with a love as strong as yesterday and an optimism just as strong as tomorrow.
The rest of the album displays a deeper love, a more mature and grounded perspective on life, and a complex understanding and appreciation for the simple pleasures the world offers. One of the last songs of the album, "Chiromancer", is one of the more upbeat songs and is easily our favorite off the record. Steff Koeppen lends her smoky and empowering vocals to the track which features intricate percussion and a more aggressive melody that compliments the elated emotion flourishing in the song.
Ixora is like catching up with an old friend from college whom has matured but is exactly the same person you remember from many years ago. While the future remains unclear for Copeland the band has alluded to a tour in support of the album release. In addition the band intends to write more music together. “I don’t know why we wouldn’t. We all enjoy making records together. As long as people want to hear themI think we’ll keep making them.”