If one listens closely to the lyrics of Little Jackie, one can almost feel Imani Coppola scribbling desperately in the dark at 4 a.m., awoken if she ever slept at all, to put the stirrings of her soul to paper, to capture the bitter mix of anger and hope and humor one feels when contemplating the challenges of life and, especially, love. Put to Adam Pallin’s whimsical programmed tracks, the life-is-hell lyrics sound light and positive. Maybe it will be OK after all. Together, the words and throwback-to-Motown instrumentals juxtapose to offer a joyful cathartic release of the evil that lurks, the kind of evil good music can cure, if only for 3:33.
The New York Times called Coppola “modern and quick-tongued”, a perfect foil to Pallin’s sing-songy play on 60s soul.
Coppola, also a solo artist, was born to juxtapose opposites to great effect. She is a beautiful racial mix of black and Italian, raised on Long Island in a family of five kids, all of them musicians, where the sacrifices of the artistic life were clear but torturously compelling all the same. Coppola first asked to play the violin, at 6, and has since learned to play everything from bass to computer-based Pro-Tools, “really anything to get the idea out,” the super-talented singer songwriter said.
Little Jackie hit the ground running in 2008 with the release of The Stoop featuring the hit single “The World Should Revolve Around Me.” For the new independent release of Made for TV Oct. 15, 2011, Coppola offers up that “the flavor is revenge: done with labels, done with guys.” “Owning your own shit is the most important thing in the music business,” Coppola says with the same defiant determined tone she uses to sing about women’s need for mental and physical independence in practically all 12 tracks of the new brutally brilliant and hilarious new album.
In Made for TV’s single, “Take Back the World,” set to appear in the September film release of “What’s Your Number” featuring Anna Faris, Coppola inspires with fast rhythmic lyrics, her own special mix of pop and hip-hop: “Be on my hustle every minute of the day, never let it get away, I’m stayin motivated keep it uncomplicated nothing in-between me and my dream.”
It is easy while listening to Coppola’s lilting up-tempo tone, inspired, she said, “from every artist, the good ones and even the bad ones,” to believe in dreams coming true, as it is in “Love Will Find Me” to imagine that the fake dishonesty of bad dates will someday be exchanged for effortless, easy love.
“I’m gonna dance with my shadow I’m goin all out, never forgettin what I’m all about and love will find me eventually you just wait and see.”
“Cock Block” nods to oft-ignored female sex obsession, a seriously distracting insanity Coppola makes light of along to Pallin’s upbeat ringing instrumental with laugh-out-loud lines such as, “I’m sorry, I can’t see straight, there’s a cock blocking my vision.”
Coppola is brazenly honest about her personal motivation for her themes, among them that “Disappointment in love has been a constant in my life.” Such is what makes Little Jackie’s songs ring terribly true, yet thankfully, mercifully toe-tappingly so.
The best reason to buy the album? “I need to get even with those fuck-faces who inspired these songs,” Coppola said. Success, the greatest revenge, is sure to be hers.
released August 3, 2011
Imani Coppola lyrics and vocals, Adam Pallin production.
Mixed by Joshua Valleau and Howie Beno
Mastered by Joshua Valleau
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