Review: Radio and Records

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Radio and Records - August 9, 2002
Coming Right Up

If I get fired for absenteeism, it's Marc Copely's fault.

Last week I slid his debut CD, "Limited Lifetime Guarantee", into my computer at work, as I do with every disc that lands on my desk. But nothing happened. I sent off a hostile message to the MIS people.

First, they pointed out the sticker on the front of the jewel case that says the CD is designed to play on home audio players only. Then they pointed out, helpful as always, that I am an idiot.

So, the good news is that Marc Copely is coyright-protected -- the solution that could save the music industry! The bad news is that my brain is tiny and feeble...but we'll deal with that problem some other time.

Anyway, I had to go out to my car to hear the Marc Copely CD. That's obvious, right? It was my only option. I am no slacker, people; I am a dedicated professional. So I grabbed my keys and got the hell out of the office.

But sitting in the car listening to music just isn't the same as driving around listening to music, is it? Not the same at all. Plus, you can't just sit there in your car with the stereo on; you'll run down the battery.

Before I reached the end of the first track, "Cellophane," I was two blocks away from the office, and it was apparent that I had a lot more driving to do. Because, in the first place, this is not the kind of lightweight, silly pop-rock artist who is so transparent, you can see straight through to his shirt label. Marc Copely is legit. This is serious guitar rock. And in the second place, this is serious guitar rock. Can you enjoy it while driving around Beverly Hills, dodging baby blue SUVs with license plates that say PRNCESS? No, you cannot.

The CD is over 40 minutes long -- perfectly acceptable for lunch break. But, trust me, when you hear "Limited Lifetime Guarantee", you will agree completely that it's not the kind of album you can listen to just once. Marc Copely's music is thick and solid and real. It has deep currents. It has peaks and valleys. It demands that you keep driving.

Put the CD in your car, and you're going to wind up hundreds of miles away on a beach somewhere on a weekday afternoon, learning the words to "Surprise." Of course, you probably know all the words to that one already, because it's getting tons of spins all over the country -- 277 just last week, to be exact.

Much of Copely's early radio support came from the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic states, where he has a huge fan base, due in part to his connection to Boston blues-harp legend James Montgomery. Copely not only played with Montgomery on tour, he also produced one of Montgomery's recent albums. It is clear that the blues have enriched Copely's playing and songwriting in ways that set his music worlds apart from the brainless pop punk the other kids are making.

When it comes to driving long distances during work hours while listening to Marc Copely, consider yourself warned. If you get fired for absenteeism, don't come crying to me.

- Review by Katy Stephan

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