Ray Cooper – Even For A Shadow

Ray Cooper - Even For A Shadow



4.2/5 Pros

  • Lovely lyrics and stories
  • Beautiful, touching atmosphere

Ray Cooper’s first single release, the song Common Truth with the band Amazorblades, is dated as of 1977. After appearances in multiple bands and projects, the most recent album releases of the British artists are solo ones, though. With a background of folk music, Cooper is nowadays also having stronger influences of other Americana genres and pop. On 3rd May 2024, he is releasing his album Even For A Shadow. I had a listen.


Ray Cooper – About The Artist

Ray Cooper, civil name Brian Raymond Cooper, was born on 22nd September 1964 in Redhill in England. He has a pretty long and versatile career as a musician. The most prominent period, however, was with the Oysterband, of which he has been a member of between 1989 and 2013. Nowadays, Cooper is living in Sweden. His debut solo album was Tales of Love and War and Death by Hanging, released in 2010. I featured his fourth and most recent album, Land of Heroes, which has been released in 2021 and which I also featured on


Ray Cooper – Even For A Shadow – Track by Track

The twelve song album lasts 43 minutes.

1. Even For A Shadow

A bit of folk, a bit of pop and the groove of a blues song – the opener Even For A Shadow goes for a rather gentle pace at the beginning of the album. The song feels rather traditional, but has a nice vibe and good storytelling. A good choice to get into the mood of the album.

2. Falling Like Thunder

Falling Like Thunder is the only track Ray Cooper shared with his fans before the album release. Already in December 2023, the song has been published in three different version. The social-critic song about democracy and politics comes with narratives as verses and a short, melodic chorus. This dialectic stays in your mind, even after listening to the song.


3. Wind And Steel

With the brass instruments in the background, the third song Wind And Steel has a hymnic and majestic style. Nonetheless, the instrumentation does not distract from the story of the track. The album works with three different female singers. One of them appears in here and leads to a nice duet-alike style.

4. The Sky Was Black With Diamonds

After three rather slow and dramatic sounds, the opening fiddle gives The Sky Was Black With Diamonds a nice ease at the beginning. The song keeps a playful, but also goes back to the rather intense, personal touch. It deals with the death of Ray Cooper’s father and the gap which that lead in his life. A lovely listen with a nice Americana soul.

5. Going Underground

This song comes with the piano and the fiddle on the instrumental side and another female duet partner on the vocal side. This leads to a dramatic, melancholic ballad, which is one of the many emotional moments of the album. Both singers do a beautiful performance on the microphone.

6. Sir Patrick Spens

The strumming guitars in Sir Patrick Spens add a very light and happy vibe to the album. The song reminds me of Irish pub folk, the melody feels a bit like a children’s tune. However, the touch of Old McDonald had a farm makes me smile.

7. Bonaparte’s Retreat

Just in line with the title of the song, this song gives you a very traditional touch. It is an instrumental track, which is dated at some time in the 19th century. In the context of the other songs of Even For A Shadow, it works surprisingly well.

8. Black Is The Colour / En Vacker Van

The eighth song is another traditional track. The song has its roots in the Appalachian Mountains. This version of the song, which has already been recorded in the 1940’s, mixes English and Swedish lyrics. Again, even though the song is rather dated already, it is a nice fit to the album.

9. Tynne Laine

Despite the ninth track is less than two minutes long, it starts with a rather long intro of the sound of a rainfall. After that, Tynne Laine turns into a piano solo. Even though you might feel it is another traditional, this song has indeed been written by Ray Cooper himself. It defintiely has a nice atmosphere.

10. The Wind

After this section of traditional and traditional-alike sounds, The Wind takes the listener back to a hymnic and dramatic sound. The sound of the tenth song is again majorly defined by the piano and string sounds – however, this time, they are rather from a cello. Nice one.

11. When We Reach The Sun

The last two tracks of Even For A Shadow are rather 2:30 minutes long. The song is another farewell song, this time to a friend. The song has rather the character of classic songs than having a touch of folk or pop music. A very intense listen.

12. Adios

The closing track is simply called Adios. The song is having a rather typical folk music style and a nice melody. Nonetheless, it is in line with the rather melancholic touch of the album. We never really made it, baby, but we pretty close. You would wish the artist a better faith while listening to this song.


Ray Cooper – Even For A Shadow – Spotify

Here is the album on Spotify:


Ray Cooper – Even For A Shadow – My View

Ray Cooper’s Even For A Shadow might not be your right choice when you feel sad and unhappy already. The style of the album is rather on the depressing side, but by that, it also has its beauty. Ray Cooper has a nice touch of telling stories – and also the instrumental songs come with a nice beauty. Overall, a really nice and touching album.

Favorite Song: Going Underground in Sweden

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