Cooper’s sense of humor may be cartoon-like, but her musical instincts are real-life sophisticated, and there’s no other black female singer-songwriter-producer you can compare her to. If anything, she comes across as the audacious, self-absorbed female equivalent of Morris Day.
Designed to be high-concept, this album is lacking in the drama department, save for “The Agency Sent Me,” on which a harried social worker, frustrated by the court system and bureaucratic red tape, finds herself responding to a battered child who tells her:
I was born to be fierce
Born to be happy
Born to be free
Are you from the agency?
Lady, would you help me?
That cut is a poignant surprise from someone you don’t associate with such serious concerns, and it’s about as high-minded as Cooper gets. Actually, she’s most convincing on “I Look Good,” the best piece of self-promoting comedic-funk since Day and the Time cut “Cool” back in 1982. That track alone encapsulates everything you need to know about Cooper and her wonderfully wacky sense of musical invention.