Music Review: Cooly G “Playin Me” via Hyperdub

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Cooly G is a name usually associated with the UK funky scene but after my in-depth interview with her I found out she does so much more. From brief but partially successful stints as a rapper and semi professional footballer all the way through to being a full-time mum and Hyperdub signed producer it seems there is no ground she hasn’t covered in her musical and personal journey.

This journey seems to have come full circle with her debut album Playin Mevia Hyperdub. In her own words,

When I had the chance to make a track, I would make it based on how I felt that day. After I finished the album I realized it was a journey of all the things that were going on in my life and it just blended naturally.

That natural blend can’t be understated, you can feel that there are different charges to her songs but no matter how much they vary, from the up-beat opener “He Said I Said” to the more ethereal and stripped down “Good Times,” you can tell there is continuity between them all. You pass different “Landscapes” along the way but your aware your’re just passing different terrain in the same country, the country in this case undeniably being Melissa Campbells heart.

There is a singular theme that undeniably dominates the record’s muse and that is love and relationships. I usually find it hard to listen to music concerning those two things, even more so from a woman’s point-of-view, but Cooly delivers the subject matter with an understated elegance and “realness” that I find hard not to be drawn in by.

I sometimes like to transcend my mortal coil every now and again and expand my perception by stepping into the shoes of those who are generally the opposite of me without my innate male prejudices clouding my judgment.

That’s exactly what I did listening to Playin’ Me and it gave me an insight into the acute sensitivity of women in love and how damaging it is to mess around with that vibe once it has been formulated. So in terms of insight into the female psyche the album definitely struck a nerve, but make no mistake about it, it was Cooly’s layered, atmospheric and subtle production that hooked me in. Without it I would have just seen it as another record about “love shit.”

What takes the record to another level is the fact that Cooly performs all of the vocals seamlessly as well as handling the production, which is what makes it that much more personal in its approach. Every factor of the music has been tailored by her, which seems to be more of a rarity in the music industry nowadays—musicians choosing to rely on the team behind them to make good music as opposed to just opening their heart and letting it speak for itself without external factors convoluting the message. Let’s just hope we get more Cooly’s in the future and less Celine Dion types.