Sep 17, 2012

Chris Bell - I Am the Cosmos (1992)


Recorded three years before Chris Bell RIP'd and then released in 1992, I Am the Cosmos alerts the listener to how much of Big Star was him even though he only hung around for their first and least impressive record like maybe Chilton felt eyes on him during the cutting edge Radio City and future ghosts on the avant-garde Third. The title track I Am the Cosmos might be the best thing by either of them and it actually sounds like it's both of them- perfect pop in a heartrending shambles either "a harrowingly schizophrenic tale of romantic despair" or "adolescent self-absorption at its most sex-starved" or an attempt at sex-starved spiritual self-absorption in light of romantic despair. The appeal's in that dichotomy the whole way through- addiction, depression, and then faith. Better Save Yourself sounds like Lennon REALLY losing his shit and sometimes Bell and Chilton just sound the same (Make A Scene)- anachronistic pop as it sits so safely in the hazy faux nostalgia of the listener's head getting torn apart and collapsing while the song staggers on. Postmodern mockery or the sound of the artist doing just that (getting torn apart and then staggering on)? With Bell, as with Chilton, we like to believe it's probably both.

A-

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