Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Ruth Copeland - I Am What I Am [1971]

Incendiary Edification

Ruth Copeland is an English singer with an amazing voice, and it gets a brilliant outing on her second solo album I Am What I Am. Singing in her early career on Parliament’s first album, it’s not surprising that her voice is full of sassy soul, and it is also pleasing that ace guitarist Eddie Hazel from that band guests with his superb licks on this lp. Album opener The Medal is a powerful anti-war rock onslaught where the combustive emotion in Copeland’s vocal and Hazel’s guitar playing jointly ignite. There’s a spunky version of Gimme Shelter, Copeland’s scream piercingly exciting, and Hare Krishna is a soulful break from the more sedate chant associated with the title. Don’t You Wish You Had [What You Had When You Had It] is a Ruth Copeland/George Clinton-penned rockfunkfest, Eddie edifying with classy fuzz and wah-wah. Copeland and Clinton combine as writers again on the soulful Crying Has Made Me Stronger, but I’m not sure you could or should get away today with the caustic opening lyrics You have murdered, raped the soul of me: every feeling I felt for you; now you come to me, wanting me back: crying has made me stronger – though Copeland’s vocal clearly emotes the pain and defiance of the storyline. Ruth and Eddie co-write on another funky and delightful track Suburban Family Lament where domestic strife gets a hyperbolic narrative.

No comments:

Post a Comment