Advertisement

1/2 BERNADETTE COOPER “Drama According to Bernadette Cooper” <i> MCA</i>

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

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement


Advertisement