Singer-songwriter Charlie Scopoletti calls the seven songs on his 2012 solo debut release Truth “perspective music.” As he explains in a WFAS radio interview, having survived Hodgkin’s disease (diagnosed when he was only 10 years old) and a 2006 attack of thyroid cancer which interrupted a budding musical career with his band, CSB, not to mention a severe leg fracture that kept him from trying out for his college basketball team as well as a collapsed lung, he has developed his own unique perspective on life. That perspective informs his music. Despite the kind of Job-like adversity that would stop many of us in our tracks, he has learned to keep on going. He has learned to keep on fighting, and this music is testimony to that fight.
Certainly some of his lyrics reflect this perspective. “Truth,” the album’s title song advises that when the world comes for you, “Cut the restraining thread/Let yourself be free instead/Nobody can hold you down.” In “Heaven Can Wait” the voice of the song asserts that “My will is so much stronger than it’s ever been” and what was thought to be “rearranging in my mind” is a “breakthrough I’m caressing/A spiritual blessing.”
This is not to say that he looks at the world through rose-colored glasses. “Forecast” begins with a girl throwing his clothes “out of the tenth floor window.” The voice in the album’s opening song “Handprints” feels that something is “broke inside of me” as he tells the woman in his bed to “Rise and shine there’s no breakfast in bed/Gather your clothes and pack your feelings instead.” Relationships don’t always last. Even worse, “Beg or Borrow” has a man in a parking lot putting a gun to his head and throwing him down on the cold pavement. Still we can “come together” to “bring each other to a better day.” Life will throw you curves; there are mountains to climb. But as he asserts in “Heaven Can Wait,” “It’s a mountain I’ve been climbing/I’m on the top.” It is nice that the album comes with the lyrics for all the songs. They are worth pondering.
But lyrics aside, it is Scopoletti’s way with melody that is the real joy of this album. Every one of the songs echoes beautifully in the ear. He points to artists like Dave Matthews and Hall and Oates as his musical influences. You can listen to “Truth” and “Heaven Can Wait” during the WFAS interview to get a good indication of Scopoletti’s sound and see what you think.
Those in Scopoletti’s hometown of Port Chester, NY will have an opportunity to see him headlining a benefit concert for the Natalia Crespo Eirin Foundation (which supports, among other things, projects related to brain cancer) and the Imerman Angels, which fosters one-on-one cancer support. The concert is scheduled for March 7 at the Capitol Theater.