Cooly G - Playin Me
I’ll say this now; I love Cooly G. She’s such a babe and an inspiration and I’m just so excited about her music - which brings me to the subject of this piece, her latest album Playin’ Me, recently released on Kode9’s Hyperdub.
Playin’ Me is a record you really want the hard copy of. Buy the CD, buy the vinyl. It’s gorgeous. All matte black and smokey purple, with dark plum text printed in shiny lettering, the colors are deep and rich; it’s pleasantly smooth to the touch; it’s subtle, sexy, plush - a lot like the music, once you stop staring at the artwork and press play.
There is a certain flirtatiousness to Cooly G’s productions, particularly on Playin’ Me. I don’t mean that they’re coy, or simpering, but that they’re seductive; there’s a lot of dancing in her sound, a lot of heart, and it really gets under your skin. Tracks such as ‘Sunshine’, ‘He Said I Said’, ‘Come Into My Room’ and ‘Good Times’ are all so evocative and passionate. At times, the album speaks of something sad, heartbroken, yet Cooly G’s music - brought alive by her singing - is totally amorous and just bursting with emotions that I think we can all relate to.
I was surprised by her cover of Coldplay’s ‘Trouble’ - it’s an interesting choice, one I wasn’t expecting to work; but actually, it’s a huge step away from the original, having received the Cooly treatment. Her vocals echo out amid scattering drums, accompanied by a solo piano line, and it grows into a track all of it’s own, as is rarely the case with covers. "A thumbs up... and Coldplay..." you think to yourself in disbelief? Well, she’s definitely doing something right to make that one work.
From heartbreak and romance to reinterpretations of mainstream pop-rock, from the blissful buoyancy of ‘Landscapes’ and the gentle caress of ‘Trying’ to much darker and more intimidating tracks such as ‘What Airtime’, ‘Is It Gone’ and ‘It’s Serious (ft. Karizma)’, Cooly G is capable of articulating, through her music, many different aspects of the human heart. Anger, love, joy, pain, lust, nostalgia... emotions such as these are all honestly approached and laid bare for us to listen to.
She’s truly an inspiration, particularly for (but not limited to) women in the music biz; it’s so brilliant to see a woman make this much sound in such a male environment. However, I don’t want to draw attention to her just for being a woman or a mother, so gender aside, and looking at her album from a neutral angle, it’s really good to be able to say that Playin’ Me still kills it. It’s got power, style, grace - elements of femininity and masculinity - and so, all in all, a stonking 10/10 for this one.
Words - Eleanor Bell