JP Cooper (full name John Paul Cooper) is a singer-songwriter of the pop variety, opposing the slew of acoustic guitar wielding artists that seem to have become so common of late. Raised Under Grey Skies is his debut album, and it’s a relatively good record, with a few misses buried in amongst the hits.
By Jane Howkins
Like with much of today’s pop music, auto tune is in full swing here, and can especially be heard on single September Song. Despite this, it seems fairly obvious that Cooper can sing regardless of the effects put on his voice, which begs the question of why so many artists nowadays seem to feel the need to use them on their voices. It doesn’t exactly ruin things, but it does take away from the music somewhat, making it sound ever so slightly robotic. That’s one of the main criticisms we have here, with many of the tracks on the album seeming like they’ve been written to fall into the specific pop formula that has been making the rounds over the past few years, which is a shame, as Cooper is obviously talented, and there seem to be some interesting influences present in his work, with the gospel-tinged Passport Home being one such song that shows this off.
Raised Under Grey Skies is a pop record through and through, and there are plenty of tracks here that would be great being played over the speakers of a bar setting (we expect to be hearing much more of Cooper in the future for this reason alone), however he is better when he steps aside from the crowd on those odd moments when his personality manages to shine through. We just hope next time around he will find himself more comfortable in his own company, as we can tell there’s something deeper here – it just needs to be unlocked.
Raised Under Grey Skies by JP Cooper is out now.