Sean Cooney, a DC native now living in NYC, attended AMDA to study for Broadway shows and has also played in many professional Jazz bands. His trained voice seems even more at home belting out pop songs as he employs it’s crystal clear, cut through quality in wonderfully innovative ways. Sometimes notching it down a few octaves to fulfill the role of hype master Lil John, other times crooning like a pop hungry Jason Mraz.
“The Last Thing I Heard before the Zombie Apocalypse” is Cooney’s latest album release. The album is jam packed with modern retro crossover creations, that embrace the pop, rock, hiphop, dance and electronica genres. And I haven’t even begun to cover all the musical influences this album contains.
I haven’t been this excited about an indie artist or album since the 1980′s when I first heard “Blinded By Science” by a young synthesizer genius named Thomas Dolby.
Dolby mixed dance rhythms, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, eccentric videos and electronic wizardry to create songs that hit you straight between the eyes. Penetrated your brain, drained your soul and made your feet shuffle uncontrably to every note. Cooney has either captured every Dolby essence, or is absolutely blessed to be born with it.
To be fair Cooney is the original article. To get a slight idea stamped in your head of what Cooney sounds like, you’d have to take Dolby’s intelligent songwriting, Mika’s vocal operatics and the Black-Eyed Peas’s ability to churn out catchy chart-topping riffs and choruses on every song! If you add Sean Cooney’s eccentric visual presence, you know you’re dealing with a complete modern-day popstar. Packaged and ready to go.
The fact that Cooney is not signed to a major label gives food, for a whole lot of thought indeed. Or these guys are deaf or completely dead. The second case seems more probable if we take a look at the actual state of the music industry.
You could close your eyes, twiddle your fingers and pick any song off “The Last Thing I Heard Before the Zombie Apocalypse” and it would probably sit comfortably anywhere on the Billboard Top 100 charts.
The fact that this album was recorded and produced by Cooney himself, in his home studio, speaks volumes of his talent. The mix and sound quality is absolutely radio ready.
Over and above the superb musicianship and excellent vocal deliveries, Cooney excels where 90% of indie artists fail miserably. The musical and song arrangements.
It’s not enough to have a cool melody, beat or lyric. To achieve success with popular music, you need to amalgamate the pieces into a song that captures the interest of listeners for at least 3 minutes non-stop. Cooney goes over and above my wildest expectations.
Listen to “Deja Vu”. He uses clever synthesizer loops, multiple repeating vocal harmonies, a quick and easy two word chorus line and a thick foot stomping beat to round it all off. A touch of brilliance is added when he speeds up the final bars. Pure genius in Depeche Mode meets Howard Jones style!
I listened to this track more than 20 times in a row and still love it to death. Major labels, what the F*CK are you doing?
“Party Like A Kennedy” is a dance-floor rap anthem which testifies how easy Cooney moves from one genre to another without batting an eyelid.
On “Drag Show”, Cooney shows offs his perfectly sexy falsetto ‘alla Prince’, saucy lyrics and horny arrangements included for your personal pleasure.
The piano dominated “New Friend” is filled with time changes and layered vocal harmonies. You couldn’t possibly fit in another sound effect anywhere…unless of course you’re Cooney.
“What I Like” is Jason Mraz flawlessly emulating Cooney, or is it the other way around? I’m not sure, but damn do they both sound so good!
By the time I get to “Birthday Girl” and “Evil Lover”, I am totally in love with Cooney’s music. This is the most refreshing, interesting and convincing indie album I have had the pleasure of reviewing…ever. Of any genre.
It’s on “Evil Lover” that I finally draw my conclusion and make the ultimate comparison. That in my book, should qualify Sean Cooney as a superstar in the making.
Throughout the album, there was one voice that Cooney’s vocal timbre and delivery kept reminding me of.
One of my all-time favourite voices and probably rock’s greatest singer and showman ever.
Need I say more?
Buy this album.
VISIT COONEY’S HOMEPAGE
WATCH COONEY’S VIDEO “BROOKLYN”