Cosmo Jarvis - Think Bigger
Record Label: 25th Frame
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Thank God for originality.
Cosmo Jarvis is a 22-year-old NewJersey-born British singer/songwriter that just released his first film The Naughty Room, which he directed, starred in and produced. The launch of the movie coincides with the release of his third LP Think Bigger, a wide-ranging disc that is effervescent, eclectic and decidedly busy. The disc's lead single "Love This," is also the album's opener. Describing it is no easy feat, but suffice it to say, the song is urban and has a Beck-cum-Jamiroqaui-like vibe. Everything about the cut is smooth, suave and armed with swagger.
Building off of that smoothness is "Train Downtown," a soul-laden groove that is thick with attitude, arrogance and sex appeal. The disc's opening triumvirate ends with "Tell Me Who To Be," a horn-drenched affair that is earnest, engaging and undeniably accessible. But then the disc turns into something completely different. "Lacie" is buttressed by a banjo and decidedly folky, while "Sunshine," is yelpy and self-indulgent and channels Elvis Costello. The buzzy power-pop of "Good Citizen," is cocksure and mildly charismatic, but feels decidedly out of place.
And it is at this point that Think Bigger has become a schizophrenic and scattered affair that is hard to keep up with. As if cognizant of this, Jarvis revisits the folk sentiments of "Lacie," and employs that the rest of the way. A frenetic and brisk cover of the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil," is serviceable but doesn't really do much to bolster Jarvis' credibility. "Hopeless Bay," is light and pliant but is anchored in Jarvis' titanic vocals which reach out and help make the song deeply affecting. His voice marries with saturnine strings to help make the breakup song one of the year's best. "Whatever," is a cheery folk number, while "The Girl From My Village," is decidedly British, old-school and draws on a merry accordion to deliver one of the disc's true home runs. Think Bigger ends with the title track, a high-pitched and twee slice of Iron and Wine.
Though its inarguably inconsistent and pretty much all over the place, Think Bigger points towards something promising original and worth remembering. And in music, that's about all one can ask for.