Global - (Robin Records)
Yes, The Cowsills.
Well, this is a day this pop fan has been anxiously awaiting since The Cowsills appearance on Yellow Pills Vol. I (Is It Any Wonder, also appearing here). That track revealed a band that had some serious talent - far too much to keep to themselves. Embracing a "do-it-yourself" ethic, The Cowsills have made their comeback known, and have much to show for it in the exhilarating Global.
John Cowsill's only lead vocal, What About Love, opens the set with a more ballad-like delivery on the verses but with a chorus that is pure pop all the way. Guest guitarist Berton Averre (The Knack) makes an appearance to demonstrate why he may just be one of the most underrated guitarists around. Susan Cowsill takes over on Under The Gun, one of the brightest lights here thanks to a great groove and some fine harmonies with Vicki Peterson. As one might expect, Peter Holsapple appears on Global as well, adding his mandolin to the desperate You've Got No Time. Averre appears here as well, and the two very different sounds work wonderfully.
While the friends of The Cowsills deliver solid performances, it doesn't take away from the focus on The Cowsills themselves. Susan's pleading vocal in the slow rocker Cross That Line is a solid case in point. Bob Cowsill, who produced Global, shines strongly on the lovely What I Believe, letting his vocal carry a wonderful melody through some touching lyrics and a great chorus. The western feel of Far Away shows a tremendous rhythm section at work in John Cowsill and Robby Scharf who, might I add, deliver consistently throughout Global. There would certainly be diminishment on Some Good Years if not for Paul Cowsill's keyboards although the track would still remain strong thanks to some great harmonies and a nice choppy guitar part.
The band's love of rock and roll appears convincingly on Rescue, but more so on the beautifully arranged I Be Low. Here we have as solid a rock and roll song as you can find with just the right amount of pop in the mix to keep one humming along. The hard-driving She Said To Me may just be the best thing here with a vocal arrangement that makes it a standout.
In a year full of memorable comebacks, The Cowsills are a most welcome addition. Clearly, the band plays like they have something to prove. And prove it they do. I'm just anxious to hear them prove it over and over and over. And over!
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Last updated: April 16, 2005
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