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Cosa Brava - The Letter CD (album) cover

THE LETTER

Cosa Brava

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.58 | 16 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is the second studio album released by COSA BRAVA, a Fred Frith project. He has enlisted SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM's violinist and drummer along with the bass player from SECRET CHIEFS 3 and the keyboardist from NEWS FROM BABEL. Fred wanted to get back to making music in the context of a Rock band but to my ears there's not a lot of "rock" in this music. I'd say it's RIO/ Avant with a Chamber Music vibe with all the violin on this album. It certainly comes across as a violin led album but there is some variety on here as well. Lets just say it did eventually win me over but I'm not nearly as into this as the other reviewers, but it's well worth 4 stars in my opinion.

"Soul Of The Machine" is a short 2 minute opener led by the violin as we also get some percussion and vibes. "The Eyjafjallajokull Tango" opens with bass, intricate sounds and electronics before the violin joins in. It kicks in after 1 1/2 minutes. Great sound here. These two soundscapes are contrasted the rest of the way. I like this song a lot. "Drowning" was significant to me early this past week as that's how I felt. "Drowning, I'm drowning". Violin and drums standout to start but it settles quickly as these contrasts continue. A melancholic beauty. Male vocals before 1 1/2 minutes as it settles in, female vocals help out as well. "The Wedding" opens with what I thought was sitar and there is some guest tambura in this one. Violin and a beat take over along with some prominent bass. Catchy stuff. I like the calm after 3 minutes then the violin returns. Great track!

"The Letter" is a favourite of mine. We get male and female vocals then these typewriter sounds come in after 1 1/2 minutes. There's a doomy violin/ drum section without vocals but the singing returns before 3 minutes. "Slings And Arrows" is another standout piece and it's very Avant to start until the violin arrives before 2 minutes. The drums kick in after 5 minutes. So good. Guitar joins in as well in this surprisingly heavy section. "Jitters" has pulsating keys, drums and many cool sounds coming and going. A feast for the ears except for that annoying sound to start and it will return later on.

"For Lars Hollmer" is melancholic with violin and intricate sounds early on. The mood does change several times throughout this song from melancholic to upbeat to urgent to uplifting. Such are the feelings when remembering someone. Vocal melodies and a baby crying is included in this amazing track. "Emigrants" is uptempo with violin and drums followed by some dissonance and unusual sounds. There's even some cool guitar expressions as determined drums and violin help out. Love it!

"Nobody Told Me" is another favourite of mine. Slow bursts of violin and some deep sounds to start then male and female vocals arrive after 1 1/2 minutes. Man I love this guys vocals, so much character, especially when he sings "... murder" Oh my! Violin, picked guitar and drums around 3 1/2 minutes followed by heavy outbursts of drums and more. "Common Sense" might be my favourite track overall with the vocal melodies and intricate sounds to start. Emotion for me 2 minutes in and this will come and go. The vocal melodies are back but then check it out before 5 minutes. So good! Whistling late with the sound of birds to end it. The album end with "Soul Of The Machine(Reprise)" which pretty much ends the album like it started.

I don't love it mainly because of the violin being all over this but the creative juices were certainly flowing when they made "The Letter".

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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