|Cosmo Alien||Frontiers Records|
The name Cosmo is now synonymous with AOR legends Boston. Fran Cosmo is of course one of the main voices behind Boston's last couple of studio albums and was frontman for Orion The Hunter (formed with Boston's Barry Goudreau).|
On the last studio album Corporate America, Fran was joined by son Antonio (or Anthony), a partnership they have continued on into their own band.
Naturally with so many connections to Boston - a band that defines classic rock – one could be forgiven for expecting the musical output of Cosmo to be of a similar nature. No so. Herein lies a challenge to the record label.
With expectations of a classic rock themed album along the lines of the bombastic, melodic bliss of Boston, how does one advise that this album is nothing like Boston, nor in the same musical realm?
If anyone buys this album on the strength of the name alone, with expectations of what they guys have delivered in their roles with Boston, you risk disappointment.
Cosmo is not pink and fluffy – Cosmo is a modern rock band and in keeping with that, Alien is filled with tuned-down guitars, at times aggressive riffing and modern rock production effects.
There are a couple of melodic tracks here – not surprisingly they are the highlights of the album for me.
The heavy rock ballad Don't Tell Me Your Lies has touches of classic, pomp and modern rock plus those Boston harmonies, and quite an epic feel. The chorus vocal is something else too.
Helicopter is an acoustic driven pop rock ballad with a glorious chorus and some well-timed lush harmony vocals.
Woman is also more melodic rock friendly, but compared to elsewhere on the album, these songs almost seem out of place.
The consistent theme throughout the record is for aggressive riffs, a Led Zeppelin-goes-modern rock style of sound. Go no further than the opening track Communication for an updated tribute to the kings of hard rock.
When I Close My Eyes and No Surprise are highlights of the modern portion of the album, but the rest are largely forgettable for me. The songs and more importantly, the choruses are just not consistently strong enough. And that I think is the album's biggest problem – lack of killer songs.
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