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Audio Learning Center - Cope Park (Cover Artwork)

Audio Learning Center

Audio Learning Center: Cope ParkCope Park (2004)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

How's this for an analogy: if Friendships Often Fade Away was Audio Learning Center's Blue Album, than Cope Park is the trio's Pinkerton. Now, I don't mean to say that Audio Learning Center is or will be as influential as Weezer has been to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In fact, I d.
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How's this for an analogy: if Friendships Often Fade Away was Audio Learning Center's Blue Album, than Cope Park is the trio's Pinkerton.

Now, I don't mean to say that Audio Learning Center is or will be as influential as Weezer has been to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. In fact, I don't even mean to imply that they sound anything like the Weez - they most certainly don't. But the purpose of my analogy is to explain that the band has undertaken a maturation process rarely seen since Rivers' drastic moments of unexpected introspection on Pinkerton.

ALC frontman Christopher Brady still penetrates each song's hypnotizing melody with his raw, throaty tenor - a voice that is quickly making a run for the "Best Worst Voice in Indie Rock" award, currently held by Tim Kasher. While he used to sound nasally and off-key, Brady has discovered some power behind his throat, really belting out his brooding thoughts on tracks like "Car" and the album's title track.

The band matches this newfound aggression with songs that push the group's sound in new directions. "You Get That From Your Mother" features a Middle Eastern sounding instrumental melody, bringing to mind Engine Down. "The Neverwills" contains a purely hypnotic dual bass/guitar melody. "Cope Park" features two songs in one, with Brady belting out "Don't you turn away / come on, I'm right here in front of your face" at the three-minute mark, turning the song into a Sonic Youth-inspired freakout.

Audio Learning Center has already begun the process of maturation this early into their career, and that can only be a good sign. Thus far, they're 2-for-2. More good things can only be coming.

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Stream the entire album here

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
bemused (January 15, 2005)

This guy sounds way to American- in the irritating, nautious sense. Hope I can get past that cos the music is really good

-Chris-

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

What about J. Mascis for best worst voice?

...evildeadalive

Anonymous (April 13, 2004)

Whoever said the songs aren't complex is either stupid, not a musician, or some combination thereof.
This band is EXTREMELY talented and all the members have great chops, especially the bassist and drummer. Listen to the drumming on Winter from Friendships Often Fade Away. That isn't simple by any stretch of the imagination.

MaJolie (April 12, 2004)

Oberst's voice is just plain awful. It's not good/bad at all.

Best worst voice is Travis Shettel.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

when you say oberst puts you to sleep, i have to imagine you are talking about bright eyes. you might dig it in desaparecidos. lyrics and vocals are both better in that band.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

At least Kasher knows how to write interesting songs.

Oberst's material puts me to sleep.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

"I think Conor Oberst's voice is way more deserving of that award than Tim Kasher."

I agree. I don't really think of Tim Kasher's voice as being bad/irritating at all, whereas I can see why people complain about Conor Oberst, even though I personally like his work.

First track on this album is horrible (vocals suck). Hopefully the rest is better.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

This would be cooler if it was called Cop=Pork.

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

what a good band. these guys are plain and simple good songwriters. they aren't pretentious like most of their indie peers. their songs arent complex or really arty, its just good music like its supposed to be. this album is better than the new modest mouse.

-benz

Anonymous (April 12, 2004)

this score is for "friendships..."
i have to find this first, but as soon as i see it, i will purchase it.

gatecrasher (April 10, 2004)

Finally picked up the album. I can't find a song on it that I don't like.

I hope Vagrant does a better job promoting this album than their last one.

Anonymous (April 10, 2004)

Conor Oberst...although somehow his voice doesn't irritate me when I listen to Desparecidos. Can't stand Bright Eyes though.

jacobe (April 10, 2004)

"Best Worst Voice in Indie Rock"

that honor belongs to Paul Westerberg.

slippy (April 10, 2004)

I think Conor Oberst's voice is way more deserving of that award than Tim Kasher. In fact I think Tim's voice sounded a lot less "bad/good" on The Ugly Organ, because the production seemed to smooth out his voice.

sethcohen (April 9, 2004)

Paulie Shore is the weez

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

This is fuckin' crap!

gatecrasher (April 9, 2004)

I'll probably buy it this weekend. I really enjoyed Friendships Often Fade Away. Hopefully they don't disappoint me.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

see, this record took me a couple listens to get into...at least for me, it wasn't as bad as i had initially thought.

xmolemanx (April 9, 2004)

The mp3 I heard from the first record was terrible, but maybe this is good.

Anonymous (April 9, 2004)

First again!

Eric

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