Beneath the wholesome family image, the Cowsills were a real band. They wrote most of their own songs, played their own instruments, and sang with assured and beautiful voices. They wrote songs about social issues, tackled religious themes, and dipped a toe (pinky toe) into psychedelia, and when they were given a song by an outside writer they made it a smash hit. Their lush vocal harmonies owed much to groups like the Association and the Beach Boys, and they were sweet -- sweet without being innocuous, light without being lightweight. This CD has their three big hits -- "Indian Lake," the truly fantastic "The Rain, the Park and Other Things," and "Hair" (which should be the worst song ever but the Cowsills pull it off because they have such great voices) -- and a bunch of sunshine pop gems. "Poor Baby" sounds like a lost Beach Boys single and "We Can Fly" is a great song that should have been a big hit. The only complaint one might have is that some of the production seems a little unimaginative. It would have been very interesting to get the Cowsills and their songs into a studio with a producer like Gary Usher, Curt Boettcher, or even Brian Wilson to see what kind of magic might have occurred. Still, the Cowsills were so much more than just a kiddie band or the model for the Partridge Family. This CD proves it.
|Label:||Umvd Special Markets|