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Cosmo Jarvis | Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? – album review

Cosmo Jarvis returns with another of his releases, this time Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange?, which came out on 26th September 2011.

Cosmo Jarvis Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange

Cosmo Jarvis Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange?

There are various versions of the album, so I’ll just concentrate on the 11 core tracks in this review.

The album opens with Gay Pirates, which initially reminds me of Friggin’ in the riggin’ by the Sex Pistols, but then sets sail on it’s own direction. Cosmo stirs in a cocktail of sea shanty and rock-a-billy to create a sweet tasting opener to the album.

Gay Pirates by CosmoJarvis

Following with the sublime Sure as Hell not Jesus, which was reviewed as part of the earlier EP release Sure as Hell Not Jesus

Blame it On Me gushes in to blue grass and Jarvis reverberates apologetic lyric against high tempo instrumentation. My feet haven’t had a chance to stop stomping – a great three opening tracks to the release.

Does Dave’s House stand up to the opening of the album? From a completely oblique angle we find ourselves listening to a rappish release. Experimentation is always to be welcomed and the piece wends an interesting path, in this case the track is supported by much of the material surrounding it on the album, which continues in this vein of rich discovery.

The title track Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? continues with a rap note. With a chorus that is delivered in the more familar construct. The real pleasure in the Cosmo Jarvis material being the constant chunks of irony he rips out of himself and others, a modern day Tenpole Tudor.

Let Me Out Of My Head, zig-zags the ears to a new space, as on this occasion Latin American beats are slowed to a crawl, gradually lifting as we drift off to Peru for some pipes with the constant gnaw of whining vocal. A piece of theatre which I happen to think is a load of fun, perhaps that’s because I appreciate Mornington Crescent from the long running BBC Radio 4 programme Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. One of those marmite moments.

As We Just Wanna Talk, opens, I can’t help but think I am listening to John Cooper Clarke, delivered with the same intonation and acerbic manner.

She Doesn’t Mind, pulls out some genuine dub reggae, with the plaintiff vocal taking a swathing scythe to the 21st Century. Laugh, I could have cried.

Opening with a flurry of violins The Wave That Made Them Happy, takes its turn next. Rapidly the orchestration disappears, it doesn’t even fade, only to return later. In trying something new Cosmo Jarvis is prepared to throw out the gauntlet once again to the listener.

So we arrive at the penultimate track – My Day – and we are back in familiar foot stomping ground, albeit a raw rock number. While I feel the side-steps along the album are of superb quality, it is once he gets back to the core elements that Cosmo Jarvis sounds most confident.

My Day by CosmoJarvis

The central album finishes with Betty, which was reviewed as part of the Sure as Hell Not Jesus EP release.

Betty Part I by CosmoJarvis

Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? is as fine an example of driven acerbic music as you will find anywhere. Cosmo Jarvis is unafraid to extend the audience and drives through his perspective on the 21st Century, like a hammer ramming home a nail.

The deluxe version is available on Is the World Strange or Am I Strange? (Deluxe Edition) - Cosmo Jarvis*.

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*Purchases made through the Is the World Strange or Am I Strange? (Deluxe Edition) - Cosmo Jarvis link will result in the indie bands blog earning a commission.

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  1. [...] Rather than sounding like a mash-up of bits and bobs, Captain Dangerous deliver something that reminds of a sparking English wine. The dry humour and style can only emanate from a band rooted in the UK and whilst it is peculiarly British, there is plenty here for the music to gain a much broader audience with the same sardonic wit as Cosmo Jarvis. [...]

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