Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Frankie Cosmos – Jesse

For some of us, this doesn’t do the cosmost…


Katherine St Asaph: Frankie Cosmos’ last album was the subject of some exceedingly exhausting Discourse about her family background — exhausting because I love so many songs by the likes of That Dog and Kaya Stewart and so many others, but venomous enough to A) put me off the album B) lodge into my head, temporarily, Kevin Kline’s “I am the pirate kiiiiiiiing!” Now that the discourse has cleared, I hear a lo-fi version of Wolf Alice, in that “Jesse” reminds me (by design) of several dozen ’90s indie-pop acts, but frustratingly, I can’t pinpoint who exactly she reminds me of (Bettie Serveert? Madder Rose? That Dog would be obvious….) Normally I only like lo-fi pop in theory, in practice longing for production in full color and songs I can actually hear. But “Jesse” has beefier guitars and more dynamic production than I was led to believe, and spikier lyrics than the tweeness I was led to expect. Moral: don’t listen to discourse.

Micha Cavaseno: So twee you can practically feel the pipe cleaners peek from out of the wounds at the sleeves. “Jesse” is conservatively arranged for all the imposed lean sounds, and is casually descriptive but not all that engaging. For all its brevity, you’d hope there’d be a little less temerity.

Alfred Soto: Not very robust about its adorableness, is it?

Tim de Reuse: Greta Kline’s staunch refusal to lift her voice above a dry, halfhearted mumble is neither sonically pleasant nor does it expose some deeply personal viewpoint in the airy lyrics. After experiencing this unremarkable burst of stale air a few times I can’t help but wonder: Who asked for more music appropriate for the soundtrack of a late-aughts Michael Cera movie? Whose memory hasn’t already been overexposed to this particular kind of indie pop wonder bread to the point of forgetting it as soon as it’s heard? Why does this particular corpse beg to be continually reanimated?

Julian Axelrod: The first two lines are Frankie Cosmos in a microcosm(os): “Me and Jesse stayed up ’til two/We talked about dreams, about things, about you.” Greta Kline doesn’t belt her songs from the rooftops, she whispers them under the covers while everyone else is asleep. She longs to be loved and feared and seen and unseen all at once. She assesses her tiniest hopes and her wildest dreams with the same clear-eyed candor. (Even the gift of flight is deemed too exhausting to pursue.) But we feel bravest in these lost hours, when every whisper feels like a grand proclamation. Similarly, Kline’s figured out how to make her sparse arrangements burst with color and energy. Every guitar riff feels like the sun peeking through the clouds, and every time Kline’s voice rises you can almost hear her heart break. I don’t know how she does so much with so little, but she’s shared enough of her secrets for now.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Like watching a Miranda July film.

Reader average: [7] (2 votes)

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2 Responses to “Frankie Cosmos – Jesse”

  1. confession: I have always wanted to end up in a karaoke situation where it is socially permissible to do the Pirate King’s song

  2. i heard spent, even after the rock came in