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Beverly Glenn-Copeland|The Ones Ahead

The Ones Ahead

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

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Beverly Glenn-Copeland's return celebrates the breadth of his decades of songwriting. "La Vita" and Primal Prayer were deep listens, to be sure, but they were also fun and creative releases meant to, at least somewhat, dance the tough times away. Keyboard Fantasies, a lush instrumental/ambient record, hit more on the core value in Glenn-Copeland's work: healing. As with all instrumental records, though, the milieu laid in the hands of the listener. The early folk work did what good folk does—tell reflective stories with minimal accompaniment.

The Ones Ahead is a middle-ground between the early records and the aforementioned synth/ambient jams. The three tracks opening the record pay homage to important figures in Copeland's life: a gleaming tribute to Africa ("Africa Calling"), a love poem to his partner ("Harbour (Song for Elizabeth)"), and a stirring and deeply affecting take on the love surrounding him ("Love Takes All"). The trio offers a glimpse of the album as a whole: a living, vacillating work that preaches from mountains and informs from valleys.

It's not that any other albums were incomplete without style differentiations, it's just that this record is truly all-encompassing. Following "Love Takes All," a song that draws a distinctly sad-yet-triumphant tone, is "People of the Loon" with large, hard-hitting retro synth sounds. The synths dim into the background as a small chorus of singers join Copeland to build to a whirlwind crescendo. "People…" earmarks a move toward the height of Copeland's vocal capacity. His background in gospel and opera shines before the "The Ones Ahead" slides back into low-toned poetics.

And so it goes. The ebb and flow feels like a retrospective despite being wholly new material. That said, this album does not rehash; it leaps forward musically. Lyrically, Copeland deals with our responsibilities as caretakers, never chiding but certainly not hiding his belief that we need to embrace love and respect as we move forward on our collective human journey. Love and life itself are interchangeable here, and our treatment of our fellow humans relies on that fact. In that regard, it may not seem like much has changed for Copeland but keen listeners and longtime fans will hear it: The Ones Ahead reflects on a life lived in love lessons. There is little mystery to his words and music these days, the childlike wonder ceding to calls for action. © Jeff Laughlin/Qobuz

More info

The Ones Ahead

Beverly Glenn-Copeland

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1
Africa Calling
00:05:40

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

2
Harbour (Song For Elizabeth)
00:04:38

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

3
Love Takes All
00:04:39

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

4
People Of The Loon
00:04:56

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

5
Stand Anthem
00:05:58

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

6
The Ones Ahead
00:04:56

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

7
Prince Caspian's Dream
00:04:10

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

8
Lakeland Angel
00:03:04

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

9
No Other
00:04:09

John Herberman, Producer, MixingEngineer - Beverly Glenn-Copeland, Composer, MainArtist

2023 Transgressive Records Ltd. 2023 Transgressive Records Ltd.

Album review

Beverly Glenn-Copeland's return celebrates the breadth of his decades of songwriting. "La Vita" and Primal Prayer were deep listens, to be sure, but they were also fun and creative releases meant to, at least somewhat, dance the tough times away. Keyboard Fantasies, a lush instrumental/ambient record, hit more on the core value in Glenn-Copeland's work: healing. As with all instrumental records, though, the milieu laid in the hands of the listener. The early folk work did what good folk does—tell reflective stories with minimal accompaniment.

The Ones Ahead is a middle-ground between the early records and the aforementioned synth/ambient jams. The three tracks opening the record pay homage to important figures in Copeland's life: a gleaming tribute to Africa ("Africa Calling"), a love poem to his partner ("Harbour (Song for Elizabeth)"), and a stirring and deeply affecting take on the love surrounding him ("Love Takes All"). The trio offers a glimpse of the album as a whole: a living, vacillating work that preaches from mountains and informs from valleys.

It's not that any other albums were incomplete without style differentiations, it's just that this record is truly all-encompassing. Following "Love Takes All," a song that draws a distinctly sad-yet-triumphant tone, is "People of the Loon" with large, hard-hitting retro synth sounds. The synths dim into the background as a small chorus of singers join Copeland to build to a whirlwind crescendo. "People…" earmarks a move toward the height of Copeland's vocal capacity. His background in gospel and opera shines before the "The Ones Ahead" slides back into low-toned poetics.

And so it goes. The ebb and flow feels like a retrospective despite being wholly new material. That said, this album does not rehash; it leaps forward musically. Lyrically, Copeland deals with our responsibilities as caretakers, never chiding but certainly not hiding his belief that we need to embrace love and respect as we move forward on our collective human journey. Love and life itself are interchangeable here, and our treatment of our fellow humans relies on that fact. In that regard, it may not seem like much has changed for Copeland but keen listeners and longtime fans will hear it: The Ones Ahead reflects on a life lived in love lessons. There is little mystery to his words and music these days, the childlike wonder ceding to calls for action. © Jeff Laughlin/Qobuz

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