Music can be many things it can be technical, methodical constructed within all the confines of precision and theory or it can be fun and played with reckless abandon. The debut album from the band that calls themselves Cooper is a mixture of both. When music is good it evokes emotion, happy, sad excited but more importantly it makes you feel. It’s the feeling behind the melodies that create the best music because of the blood, sweat and tears behind it, for seasoned and veteran musicians Ed Toth and Tim Bradshaw Cooper was just that. The duo is a labor of love; the New Englander and the Englishman combined their love of England combining their styles of rock, pop and alternative to create an album that encompasses a smorgasbord of musical styles. The music is covered with melodic tunes with catchy hooks and an optimistic positive vibe. The band’s name is enigma much like the bands in Toth’s history Vertical Horizon and the Doobie Brothers. From being named after boxer Henry Cooper to the classic car’s namesake, when it comes down to it, it’s ultimately the Duo of classically trained musicians who wanted to experiment have fun and create a style of music they loved. Ed Toth is a classically trained musician whose career led him to some interesting places. From his first original band Jennifer Culture, to drummer for multi-platinum selling band Vertical Horizon to nabbing a permanent seat as drummer for one of his favorite bands the Doobie Brothers and with a schedule like that he has also made time for his other passions such as Lawn boys and now Cooper. Ed’s partner-in-crime Tim Bradshaw has an impressive resume as well. Bradshaw is a veteran musician, producer and arranger and programmer who has worked with acts such as David Gray, Liz Phair and Josh Ritter to name a few. The music of Cooper combines a little bit of them all. The album is strong but there are some standouts such as “ Halloween Again”, “ Coming Round Here” “ Best Friend” and “ Jackhammer Serenade”.
“ Halloween Again” is upbeat and you can certainly here Bradshaw’s British influence in the tune. The sound is bright and the mix of guitar, bass and drum mesh well together, making for a catchy song you’ll want to sing along and won’t be able to get out of your head. The song’s country pop vibe is in contrast with that of “Coming Round Here”.
“Coming Round Here” has a ‘70’s vibe and showcases Bradshaw’s accent and high-pitched raspy voice similar to that of Davy Jones. It’s happy, upbeat and relaxed music you can just sit back and enjoy. If “Coming Round Here” highlight’s Bradshaw’s voice and talent then “ Best Friend” showcases Toth’s.
“ Best Friend” is another high energy tune with a heavy rock riff drums and percussion highlight the track and showcase Toth’s talents and complex arrangements on the skins while still showing the subtleties of Bradshaw’s vocals. Finally, there’s “ Jackhammer Serenade”. It might sound like a crazed 80’s horror flick but it’s actually one of the best songs on the album.
“ Jackhammer Serenade” is a catchy upbeat ditty that sounds like a song you would hear at the end of your favorite romantic comedy when the guy actually does get the girl. It has great commercial and radio appeal for all ages and mixtures the genres of pop and rock effortlessly.
So have a little faith, hope, you might find out who Kevin is but you’ll never know unless you listen to Cooper.