Beverly Glenn-Copeland – The Ones Ahead

Beverly Glenn-Copeland's latest effort draws from a diverse range of musical avenues, from American jazz and Irish fiddle songs all the way to traditional West African drumming

Album Review by Marco Marcelline | 25 Jul 2023
  • Beverly Glenn-Copeland - The Ones Ahead
Album title: The Ones Ahead
Artist: Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Label: Transgressive
Release date: 28 Jul

Beverly Glenn-Copeland's latest effort draws from a diverse range of musical avenues, and there are just so many stand-outs here. The highly spirited, polyrhythmic and lyric-less Africa Calling opens the album and honours the West African heritage of the Philadelphia-born, Canada-based singer-songwriter and composer. Drums indigenous to West Africa are heard on the track which Glenn-Copeland says was made after receving a deep "calling" to express and honour his roots.

A slide guitar shines against delicate piano on Love Takes All, while Glenn-Copeland glorifies the natural world, singing: "Let the treetops dance, let the rain fall". On the follow-up track People Of the Loon, things take a dramatic and dark turn. Against a suspense filled instrumental, Copeland's arresting baritone vocal urges attention as he orders the listener to "remember who we are" while a background choir sings "Come a little bit closer".

Meanwhile, on the positively spine-chilling title-track, Glenn-Copeland evokes and affirms the interconnected and interdependent nature of humanity: "Each of us to others is connected / If one of us is lost, we're all affected". The Ones Ahead carries a resolute message of hope for the world, backed up by Glenn-Copeland's evident wisdom.

Listen to: People Of the Loon, Love Takes All, The Ones Ahead