Candy-Colored Clown

Jonny Kosmo

Jonny Kosmo

Jonny Kosmo pic

Self-Released, 2019

Review by Kent Manthie                                                             

On the debut solo album from former bassist for Mr. Elevator, Jonny Kosmo has gone his own way. That is, he’s made an album that reflects what he’s about, not collaborating with a band; no longer a member of a “team”; done with being a cog in a clockwork device, so to speak. On his break-out debut he seems to be quite comfortable as well as a decent songwriter.

More than just another pop record, Jonny Kosmo has an amalgam of interesting styles. The album begins with “Prelude”, something to prep the listener for what’s to come. After this pop overture things get rolling with “Come Down to Get Down”.  Poppy?  Yeah, OK, but simultaneously Jonny Kosmo is more intricate than your typical saccharine soup, beamed out over radio waves, thanks to your local pop station. The result (“Prelude”) is an infectious jingle that can worm its way into your subconscious, without driving you mad and that’s just the beginning; there’s more to it; the grooves keep on coming like the inexorable rush due from an initial shot…with legs. 

Jonny Kosmo is filled with what would probably be filed under “pop”, yet I found that the label “pop” is far too delimiting to pin on Jonny. It’s got some cheeky grooves, some rough edges that have been smoothed out with some lounge-colored jazz-inflections as well as some dynamite hooks and catchy sounds. It’s hard to pick out just a couple examples of tracks from Jonny Kosmo since there are so many great ones from which to choose. As far as the ones which were most pleasing to my ear, ‘Jessica Triangle”, “Strawberry Vision (feat. KC Rabbitt). The song is a sunny, daydream for a lazy afternoon; a blissed-out tune with lyrics that have a poetic feel to them. The other one is “Circus of Dreams”, which is another song that shows Kosmo’s penchant for writing catchy tunes. 

Listening to Jonny Kosmo I kept trying to think of who it was that this album reminded me. Although it isn’t what was hiding somewhere in my mind, the only thing I could think of was Stephin Merritt & Christopher Owen’s one-off project, Future Bible Heroes and their simply beautiful, flawless album, Memories of Love from 1998. I still listen to that album and though I had a Magnetic Fields album for a time, until it got wrecked and I haven’t had it replaced (yet), it just didn’t have the same catchiness as Memories of Love. Then again, when I first got the Future Bible Heroes album I had not yet heard of Magnetic Fields (oh, well, so sue me) so I wasn’t in a position to make any comparisons. 

On the fence about this?  Well, the best way to go to one side or another is to give it a listen!  Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, that is, if you’re predisposed to clever tunesmithing, avant-pop and a twist on the typical; the predictable. if you like discovering new music and have an open mind as well as wide-ranging musical tastes, give Jonny Kosmo and Jonny Kosmo a try.  -KM.












Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.