This cd represents one of the great lost albums. Chris Bell, a major part of Big Star, made with 'I Am The Cosmos' one of the finest 'underground' albums ever. What can I say: heartfelt, inspiring and loose. This is the sound of disintegration, for the man was troubled, but aren't we all???? If you're wondering whether to buy this album, listen to the clip of track 1 above and hear THAT lead guitar break. This is a must have. Please also buy 'Third/Sister lovers' by Big Star. Music is not made this good anymore. Some of the inspired guitar and keyboard breaks are beautiful. If I had to choose how to describe the sound it would be Radiohead crossed with early era Neil Young and The Band circa 'Music From The Big Pink'. Oh, and 'Look Up' and 'Though I know She Lies' are two of the most beautiful, emotional and heartfelt ballads ever. Please, we all have to make decisions when buying music. With all my heart, please, I urge you to buy this majestic record. You, like me will miss out on some classic albums because of money restrictions or not being aware of their existance. Do not let this album slip by. This is one of those records you can not help but become emotionally linked with. Listen for the awesome guitar on 'I got Kinda Lost' or the classic rock'n'roll of 'I don't Know'. This album has musical cousins in 'The Velvet Underground and Nico' and Neil Young's 'Rust Never Sleeps'.
Where do we begin, the biggest fish of all seems to have slipped through the net. If you ask even the most clued up rock fan if they dig Chris Bell they will ask, 'Who?' but nobody could listen to tracks like 'You and your Sister' or 'Look Up' without feeling each time as if they were being deliciously sawn in half by Chris's barbed, breaking, bittersweet vocals. The sound of hope conquering pain, the feeling of dizzy heights and hopelessly poignant musical altitude sickness, buy this album. Buy this album. BUY THIS ALBUM! It will make you happy and complement those cold spring mornings of impossibly high skies and little fluffy clouds...
It is no secret that Chris Bell remained an undiscovered talent during his lifetime. Both with Big Star and as an individual recording artist, his work was tragically overlooked by public and press alike, a fact which is only now thankfully being addressed. This record is quite simply one of the most exceptional albums on the market. Appealing to both lovers of classic rock and Lennon-esque ballads, I am the Cosmos contains music that fans of all genres can both relate to and recognise and flawless. Quite often, music magazines publish polls of the greatest albums ever made. This leads to albums such as Revolver, Exile on Main Street, London Calling and Dark Side of the Moon consistantly filling the upper placings in such lists. Never will you see I am the Cosmos nominated. Those who here this album are often left wondering why. If you only buy one album this year then forget the overrated offerings of 2004. Even forget the classics. Purchase this and enjoy a tragically overlooked, faultless example of songwriting at its best
Been meaning to buy this for ages...I was a fan of the title track but wasn't familiar with the rest of it. I wasn't disappointed....the title track and "You and Your Sister" are the stand out tracks, both having been released as a single back in the day.I was worried the remaining songs would be half finished demo-sounding efforts but on the whole they are great songs, well produced. This would appeal to fans of Big Star, no shock there. Its also reminiscent of the Beatles, Badfinger and the like. The liner notes written by Chris's brother were very informative, they tell the story of his journey from leaving Big Star, trying to make it on his own, his battles with personal demons and the eventual tragic end.
Chris Bell is forever fated to be the other one from Big Star, always overshadowed by the legend of Alex Chilton. I Am The Cosmos shows how unfair this is, it may not be as great as Sister Lovers but it towers over Chilton's solo work. Bell's contribution to Big Star's debut #1 Record are an undeniable indication of his songwriting and studio craft. After leaving Big Star it's no exaggeration to say that Bell's career in music was fairly directionless. Drugs, and possibly torments over religion and his sexuality, seem to have contributed to a mood of depression that permeates this disc. The peripatetic nature (Memphis, France and London) of the recording of these songs are heartbreakingly documented by Bell's brother in the sleevenotes to this release. The best songs here are the two that were released as a single in 1978, the title track, a surging, mysterious song that would not have sounded out of place on an REM album, and You And Your Sister (with lovely backing vocals by Chilton). Of the rest Better Save Yourself, I Got Kinda Lost and There Was A Light are of a similarly high standard. The disc is let down by some fairly average tracks, in particular Fight At The Table sounds to me like little more than a competent bar band. As a posthumous collection of pretty much all of Bell's solo recordings this by necessity lacks cohesion, at it's best though it shows that Bell's early death in a car accident was a great loss to the music world.