Home » Stories » Paula Cole cuts a wide and uncompromising swath through the socio-political landscape / billboard

Top 10 for Sep

Paula Cole cuts a wide and uncompromising swath through the socio-political landscape / billboard

Bookmark and Share

Paula Cole references her socially conscious third album, Amen, when talking about her upcoming Revolution. One of the linchpins between the two is the influence of Marvin Gaye, particularly his landmark What's Going On -- which is why Cole included a version of his "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" as the only cover on the new set.

"Marvin Gaye is a real leader for me, a touchstone," Cole tells Billboard. "I think he's such a brilliant musician, singer, writer, arranger, so ahead of his time. What's Going On has inspired me twice, sonically, on both of these albums." Of "Mercy Mercy Me" specifically, Cole notes that, "I've always loved that song. I felt that I needed to cover it and put that message back out in the world.

Revolution, due out Sept. 13 -- and featuring collaborations with Nona Hendryx, Meshell Ndegeocello, Darcel Wilson and Bob Thompson of NPR's Mountain Stage -- cuts a wide and uncompromising swath through the socio-political landscape. Co-produced by Cole with Chris Bruce, it is, of course, inspired by Cole's feelings about Donald Trump's presidency and societal issues such as the #MeToo movement. And it conveys the urgency of somebody who truly doesn't want to wait, at least too long, to right that course.

"There's so much to say, I feel it's important that anybody who has a voice should speak out now," explains Cole, who put aside a jazz album she was making in favor of Revolution. "Picasso said that artists are the politicians of the future, and I take that to heart. I just feel the need to put everything else to the side. I can't be silent at this time. There's just a wicked sense of urgency, right now."

READ THE FULL billboard ARTICLE