Not many people will have heard of this artist but this is quite surprising as he has had a lot of praise over the years and has supported acts such as Muse, Gabriella Climi, Gym Class Heroes, Panic at The Disco, The Sunshine Underground, Reverend and the Makers and The Holloways. Which is quite an impressive list for someone that most people would ask the question who is he?
Looking at his second album, ‘Is The World Strange or Am I Strange?’ I think it answers the question why not a lot of people have heard of him and even though it is a brilliant album, the old saying comes to mind, a jack of all trades but master of none. This is one of the most versatile albums you will probably ever hear with Cosmo able to use nearly every genre from folk to rap to create a sound that is most of all just fun to listen to and will get you singing along and tapping your foot to. Some of the songs do drag slightly like ‘Sure as Hell Not Jesus’ but he has made an album exactly how he wants and hasn’t left anything out that he enjoys himself which has probably hindered his mainstream success as he hasn’t done what so many other artists have done and copied successful artists. He hasn’t had a single song chart in the UK and this is a real shame, in particular the song ‘Gay Pirates’ which should have done a lot better and gained support from famous people like Stephen Fry and John Barrowman. Yes, I know what most people will think as soon as they hear the title and that it’s just a joke but in all honesty it shows the songwriters advanced level of sophistication and how he can tell a brilliant story. You actually feel as though he is the character himself and is a very strong opening to the album that challenges the subject of forbidden love and that there is still prejudice towards the gay community in the world today.
There are enough catchy songs on the album though that if they had gained enough support would surely have got more radio time than they actually did, ‘Dave’s House’ is an example of this and even though some people will not like the song, I can guarantee that most will know the chorus after one play and will sing along to it. Other songs on the album that really impressed me were, ‘Blame It On Me’ as it has an up tempo, folk style vibe to it and is a little different. ‘Is The World Strange’ which is a slow rap with fantastic lyrics. ‘She Doesn’t Mind’ which is about a situation that nearly everyone will go through and that is trying to convince your parents that your partner is good enough for you. Finally, ‘My Day’ also impressed me as it shows his punk style and is a very funny track about our generation.
I believe a lot of people will love this album because of how experimental and completely different it is. I can’t decide how to describe it, and possibly the best words are quirky and strange. However, I also believe that the same number of people will hate this album and not see the point to it at all.
Amy Macdonald is back in the charts with her third album but to really understand how much potential the young Scottish singer has you have to look at her previous work.
Amy Macdonald is still waiting for her first UK number 1 single
Her debut album ‘This is The Life’ sold over 3 million copies worldwide and reached number 1 in the UK Album Charts as well as 92 in the US Billboard 200 so it is easy to see how well she has been liked since the very start of her career but it has only taken me till now to discover just how brilliant she actually is. Just listening to album through once you understand her versatility as a musician but underneath it all you feel that she hasn’t lost her identity and stays true to the sounds that she knows and loves. The more you listen to it, the more in love you fall, it is really that good and the whole album is full of top quality songs that will speak to everyone as they are quite easy to relate to. She has fantastic storytelling ability and you can’t believe that she was only a teenager when this was brought out as some of her songs, in particular, ‘Run’ and ‘L.A’ show that she has so much more ability than other artists at that age.
But, her surprisingly mature lyrics are counterbalanced by her youthful spirit which will appeal to many different people and one thing that gives her points in my eyes is the fact that she doesn’t sound like a stereotypical female pop singer and each song has its own brilliance to it and there is not a single track that is boring like pop artists are releasing these days. The charm of the whole album is that, she doesn’t seem to have to try that hard but there isn’t a cocky arrogance about it and she proves that keeping things simple rather than doing things to your voice or adding a lot of beats does not make a track better.
Many of her songs have been used for different things and have allowed more people to hear her including the opening song, ‘Mr Rock and Roll’ which was used as part of the BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games. The song reached number 12 in the UK and sets the standard for the whole album to follow, it could have been easy for it to get worse from there but even though this sing a long track is my favourite on the album by no means does it get worse. It is quickly followed up by probably her most favourite song, ‘This is The Life’ which was actually used on an advert for Fiat 500 shown all across Europe and this made it a major worldwide hit.
Macdonald’s voice is outstanding and the song, ‘A Wish For Something More’ shows her full range and also is a very good song to listen to if you want to also hear how impressive she is on the guitar. Basically, for most of the album it is just her and her guitar and the entire album will appeal to fans of folk music, indie and pop rock and don’t think any of them will be let down by a single song.