Recommended Tracks: ”Spoiler Alert”, “Bolero”, “Goodbye Hollywood”
Artists You May Like: Stephen Sanchez, Sam MacPherson, Bruno Major
Frank Sinatra. Lou Reed. The Ronettes. These are just a few classic icons who inspired Cosmic Crooner’s debut album, The Perks of Being a Hypocrite. Not into these artists? Well, maybe you’re into romantic embraces, up-and-coming musicians, or lonely nights? If so, then you may be curious as to how all of these people and references mix together on one album. If not, then what do you have against retro music and modern commentary? Just kidding. As you will soon find out, Cosmic Crooner is all about finding inspiration and utilizing it to the fullest, no matter what kind of result follows.
It is impossible to ignore the vintage-style sounds of this album, as each track fuses elements of film scores and pop songs from the past to take you back to an earlier time. Still, there are moments when Cosmic Crooner brings the present to the forefront through the lyrics. On opening track “Deep Down in Jazz,” he tells the story of how Cosmic Crooner came to be, complete with spicy guitar riffs, endearing vocal melodies, and gritty percussion. While touching on his creation, he also teases at his demise, singing, “Somewhere he knows / It’s his last show.” It is a subtle way of observing 21st century musicians, and Cosmic Crooner continues to be self-aware on “Late Night Obsession.” A piano-based track that features the contrast of pleasant melismas and minor dips, it focuses on the dangers of desperately loving someone. When he asks, “Does the world need / Another melody / Expressing that I feel lonely?” we get the point while also taking in his sorrow.
If you prefer sorrow and heartbreak, though, Cosmic Crooner has you covered. On the piano-based ballad “Goodbye Hollywood,” he ruminates on the disappointment of Hollywood and all it represents. As he gives the city a final farewell, the percussion and strings make the goodbye all the more compelling, adding a bit of glamour to lines like, “Goodbye, Hollywood / The dream is over / I hardly know ya.” While Cosmic Crooner is busy leaving La La Land behind, a former lover is busy leaving him behind on “Goosebumps on a Tuesday Night.” There is a bit of melancholy here as he sings about the pain of being replaced, but the cheerful music suggests that the situation is not so bleak.
When listening to these tracks, it is evident that the music has a lot to do with conveying a song’s overall message. The strings and romantic arpeggios of “Bolero,” for instance, are reminiscent of timeless love, taking me to the gazebo scene at the end of Twilight where Edward and Bella comfortably sway back and forth in each other’s arms. Along with the music, Cosmic Crooner uses lines like, “Suddenly a lust for love,” as well as “I fell in love and it happened in one day” on “Popsicle Place,” to reinforce the concept of romance and the power it possesses. On “Girlfriend,” another teen-based love story emerges. Over upbeat melodies, Cosmic Crooner sings, “My girlfriend, she’s so lovely / But she cries way too much.” This doesn’t exactly sound romantic, but the mood turns around when we get the “Together / Forever / Together” refrain at the end, implying the inexplainable magnetism people can have for one another.
When discussing The Perks of Being a Hypocrite, Cosmic Crooner observed the various themes and messages of each track, but he also called attention to one main idea. He explained that the most important message found in these songs is “to always look for inspiration.” After listening to this album, it is nearly impossible not to be inspired. Whether it is the colorful imagery and organ riffs found on “Tema di Filippo,” the intimate layers of sound on “Reflexopolis,” the witty statements and references on “Spoiler Alert,” or the thoughtful combination of various tracks on the closing “Sweet Reprise,” there is much to appreciate. And by establishing his hypocritical tendencies through the album title, Cosmic Crooner was able to make all of this happen, proving true his idea that calling yourself a hypocrite gives you “an unlimited amount of freedom.” Overall, he gives us a smart and vivid project full of character and heart, making for a memorable debut.
You can listen to The Perks of Being a Hypocrite on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.