Band: David Cosgrove
Band Website: www.davidcosgrove-music.com
Release Date: 2012
I’m starting to think that the draw of progressive rock is strong, much like “The Force.” What else would possess an artist like David Cosgrove to enlist the help of other musicians to create the kind of eclectic arty music he’s created on Space Toucan – A Neotropical Dream. For those of you who don’t know, and that may be most of you, Cosgrove is a solo artist, who writes, produces, performs, arranges and I’m sure cleans up after everyone. Here we have multi-instrumentalist Cosgrove (guitars, keyboards, bass, synth percussion) along with Christ Huit (lead vocals, bass), Mitch Banks (vocals), Ray Romanos (guitars), Mike Cohen (lead vocals, bongos), Mark Palazzo (lead vocals), Chris Germain (guitars) and Roger Arnold (percussion, bass), each performing on different tracks. But it is Cosgrove who is the mastermind…this is his baby.
Space Toucan – A Neotropical Dream features 16 tracks running a total of 57-minutes. The music is probably best identified as symphonic prog although given that the length of many of these compositions is between three or four minutes I’m tempted to label it more rightly Art Rock, although it’s admittedly a blurry distinction. These tunes are quite upbeat with a synth sound that sounds like Rick Wakeman is playing Keith Emerson’s keyboard rig, particularly on the opening track “Corridors” [3:56]. What makes this so intriguing to listen to, is how each of these tracks bleeds into the other. As we slide into track two “Bienvenue a Los Angeles” [1:09] we’re treated to a brief instrumental that is rich with compressed and gated string synth sounds – I like it. The songs themselves aren’t overly complex falling more in the style of bands such Saga or Styx, although the music here is nowhere near as rock heavy, guitars tend to take a back-seat to the keyboards. Not every song convicted me, but the title track “Space Toucan” [4:56] is a definite highlight with its up-tempo, bright symphonic sound set against a somewhat darker foundation. This is a winner in my books and in truth it’s a sound that pops up here and there on this disc, but is perhaps best fully realized on this track. I’m reminded of Eddie Jobson’s work on The Green Album.
This is David Cosgrove’s third release and as such shows a steady development in both sound and style and as an artist that’s what you want. Space Toucan gives off a twisted sense of humor; it never really takes itself too seriously. I think symphonic fans will find much to enjoy here, I know I did.