Like his frequent tourmate Nelly Furtado, Citizen Cope’s Clarence Greenwood is committed to using DreamWorks cash to find a place where world music, pop, and hip-hop sing in three-part harmony. On his major-label debut as his low-slung, mushmouthed alter ego Citizen Cope (Greenwood himself did time in the mid-’90s alterna-rap outfit Basehead before striking out on his own), he gets close to his quarry, but he forgets that the journey can be half the fun. So he swaggers through a sheaf of slickly produced, texturally attractive songs that don’t do much beyond spinning their handsome multi-culti wheels.
"If There’s Love," the album’s lead single, is an innocuous piece of postmodern pop-radio fluff constructed out of a head-bobbing drum loop, keening electric piano, rocksteady bass, a chorus of soulful back-up singers, and Greenwood’s own heavy-lidded mumble. Yet despite the enviable sonics — the way all the elements coalesce into a pudding-thick crawl perfect for frat and B-boys alike — the song, like most on Citizen Cope, never distinguishes itself the way a Furtado single unerringly does. Greenwood will just have to settle for the in-store mix at Banana Republic — hip enough for background mixes but never intrusive enough to be truly memorable.