Volume 95, Issue 12

Thursday, September 20, 2001
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Nothing this Wright could possibly be Wrong

NY rockers whip up "tragipsych"

This John is not filled with crap

Disc of the Week

No Superheroes here

This John is not filled with crap

John Cossar

John Cossar

Laysomepipe Records

Three 1/2 stars (out of five)

When he picked up the guitar eight years ago, John Cossar could have never predicted such a high calibre, self-titled debut album was in his future.

This former McGill student displays his diverse talents throughout his entire album, providing lead vocals and guitar on all 11 tracks. Even more impressive is Cossar's songwriting skills. He wrote all but one track and proves that, in a time of manufactured bands, quality singer-songwriters still exist.

"Running Out" is an incredible fusion of pop and rock. Even though Cossar appears to be forcing out the words during the track, the changing pace works well alongside the lyrics. The message is simple: "Live your dreams before somebody takes you away."

With a softer voice during the verses, "Alone," the other radio-friendly song, pales in comparison to "Running Out."

It begins with a simple acoustic guitar and continuously builds as the drums, bass and electric guitar all join in. The end result is one of the most emotional songs on the entire album as Cossar vents about the hardship of a doomed relationship.

The ambient sound of "Astral Plane" is surprisingly reminiscent of the Ravi Shankar-influenced Beatles material. Using slight vocal distortion, a strong bass line and subtle psychedelic overtones, Cossar sounds as though he could've fit in quite well with the Fab Four.

Unfortunately, this album doesn't finish nearly as strong as it begins. "What's To Come," "Don't Break My Fall" and "Nothing Left To Say" all seem to be going nowhere in comparison to the rest of the disc, resulting in a slow and mellow conclusion to an album that began with a kick.

Cossar has definitely proven himself musically apt on his debut album and certainly has a bright future.

–Stephen Libin

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