News & Reviews

June 4, 1999
Vol 25 * No 12 * Issue 492

The Collectors Record and Compact Disc Market Place

The Cowsills
Robin Records (81562)

Yes, this is a new record by The Cowsills. Uh-huh. Those Cowsills. Yeah, the same Cowsills who gave us "The Rain, The Park And Other Things." Yep, the very same Cowsills who inspired The Partridge Family TV Series. But before you summarily dismiss Global based on what The Cowsills may have done 30 years ago, listen up: This is one dammed fine record, not some lame exercise in failed nostalgia.

Powered by 11 wonderful new songs from Bob Cowsill (many cowritten with his wife, Mary Jo) and vocal and instrumental support from siblings John, Susan and Paul (along with bassist Robby Scharf), Global finds The Cowsills swimming in pure pop waters, with their silky-smooth harmonies perfectly complementing the often edgy guitars of Bob and guests such as The Knack's Berton Averre.

Susan handles lead vocal chores on rockers such as the pissed off-sounding "Far Away" (an amazingly fluid lead guitar run from Bob on this one) and the churning "Under The Gun," with her slightly dusky, expressive voice perfectly coloring the tunes. "Rescue" is another roaring rocker -- sort of a domestic squabble set to music -- with Bob providing the passionate lead vocal.

In a more overtly poppy vein, "She Said To Me" glides along with an almost punky energy, "I Be Low" features Susan on rhythm guitar and is graced with an unforgettable chorus, and "What I Believe" is highlighted by perfectly lovely close harmony vocals.

As good as all these tunes are, though, they are dwarfed by the pop mastery of the ringing "Is I Any Wonder?" which will stand proudly as one of the best pop songs of the 1990s, period. And, to bring things full circle, the disc-ending, "Some Good Years" finds The Cowsills coming to terms with their past in a stirringly melodic fashion. Global is superb achievement and one that certainly deserves to be heard by the masses on AAA radio. You listening, major labels? (The release can be purchased at the label's or the band's web site: , , or by writing 22647 Ventura Blvd., #516, Woodland Hills, CA 91364).

-- John M. Borack

1999 John M. Borack and Goldmine

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