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September 22, 1998

The Cowsills: GLOBAL (Robin Records) 1998

Don't let anyone kid you, The Cowsills are back in a big way and they are more than ready to go "Global" in the new millennium! And if the CD is any testimony to who they are professionally today, then you won't want to miss this new release out on Robin Records. It's 42-plus minutes of sheer excitement and takes you from the hard-hitting rock sounds of "Rescue," to the smooth sounds of "Some Good Years."

John, Paul, Bob and Susan Cowsill are the four performing family members on this first release of many -I hope- and is complimented well by bassist Robby Scharf. They also enlisted the help of many of the big talents in the biz to put out this spectacular collection. To drop a few names, there's Vicki Peterson (The Bangles); John Stamos (musically, a performing member of the Beach Boys, even though most know him for his acting abilities in many television shows and movies); guitarist Burton Averre of The Knack ("M-M-M-My Sharona" fame); and Peter Holsapple (The DB's, REM, Hootie and The Continental Drifters) just to mention a few.

The compositions on this release are truly what power-pop was meant to be. Great music and lyrics (all the songs on this CD were written by Bob Cowsill and some were collaborated on with his wife Mary Jo), added to fabulous voices and some heavy duty emotion just to put it over the edge.

Some of the highlights are "Cross That Line" which features Susan on lead vocal and is one "don't miss" performance by the singer. She really comes across with the need to share the powerful lyrics with the listener in a major way.

If there was a single to be chosen, brother John's lead vocal performance on "What About Love?" (which kicks off the CD), would be my choice for Side A. This tune should not only be listed in the power-pop classification, but the country rock and the R&B categories as well (you need to hear his fade out at end of the selection to know just what I mean). John is always giving his audiences a stellar performance - whether live on stage in one of his individual acting/singing efforts or in the studio with his siblings - but this one is definitely one of his best. Side B would surely be "You've Got No Time," a well-orchestrated, hauntingly wonderful tune. Bob sings the lead on this one and indeed makes me want to believe that I am running out of time to get back to being a Cowsills fan in a big way. On all of the selections however, you can hear ever-present effervescent harmony that has always been a Cowsill trade mark.

There are many tunes that Bob sports lead on and he is versatile enough to handle the Beatle-esque lyrics of "What I Believe," and the comes-out majorly rocking on "I Be Low" - and talk about emotion, this song packs a punch in it's just under four minute run.

Other choices on this collection include "She Said To Me," "Under The Gun," "Far Away," and "Is It Any Wonder," all great selections in a variety of musical styles, making this CD, one that is hard to put down. If you haven't already gone "Global" with The Cowsills, you don't know jack about what power-pop is all about. Check it out at or

-- JOMEER (aka Jo Malone)

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