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October 2-October 8, 1998 VOL XXXI No. 3

The Cowsills
Global
Robin Records
by David Bash

They once walked in the rain and the park, and took a trip to Indian Lake. Then one day it was no longer groovy, and the Cowsills went their separate ways. In the late '80s they decided to do it again, and by the early '90s they were playing clubs all over Los Angeles showcasing their new material, receiving rave reviews (they were voted Best Unsigned L.A. band by several publications, many times over). Now they've released a truly great album of their '90s material. While they're no longer kids, and their sound reflects that, they still have their trademark harmonies and use them to great effect here. Global is full of earth, rootsy pop-rockers that will equally please fans of pop, AAA, and alternative country. After hearing each cut, you'll unfailingly find yourself saying "man, this should be a hit!"

The Cowsills now consist of Bob, Paul, John and Susan Cowsill, along with friend Robby Scharf (mom Barbara has passed on, and brothers Bill and Barry have pursued other musical interests), and they've greatly coalesced as a band, with tight singing and playing, not to mention production that is bereft of studio manipulation. The team of Bob Cowsill and his wife Mary Jo write songs that display a nice mixture of styles and tempos, which keeps everything fresh. The variation is illustrated by the rootsy "What About Love", which features a stinging guest guitar solo by Berton Averre of The Knack; the uptempo, electrifying harmonyfest "She Said To Me"; the desert rocker "You've Got No Time"; "I Be Low", which is a straightahead melodic rocker and kind of Cheap Trick-ish in parts; and the silky smooth, sad "Is It Any Wonder". While all of the above are sung by the guys, Susan displays some fine Ronstadt-like leads on the earth "Under The Gun" and "Cross That Line", as well as on the biting, country-ish "Far Away". The album's coda, the beautiful "Some Good Years", shows that while the Cowsills have clearly abandoned their '60s sound, they haven't forgotten the good times they had when they all had long, beautiful hair.

Make sure to pick up Global as soon as you can, and when you see the Cowsills name on an upcoming bill, be assured that this will be one show you won't want to miss. (Robin Records, 22647 Ventura Blvd., #516, Woodland Hills, CA  91364. Visit The Cowsills on the web at www.cowsill.com )

1998 David Bash and Entertainment Today

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