A Stranger in a Strange Land
Harrison Cosmo Krikoryan Jarvis is much more than just an impossible to pronounce name. He is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and filmmaker in addition to being the music producer known as Cosmo Jarvis. While showcasing his instrument-spanning talents by performing alongside the likes of Muse, Gym Class Heroes, and other contemporary rock/indie groups, Jarvis gained enough support from fans to see the launch of his sophomore album, Is the World Strange or Am I Strange? A question we will learn the answer to reflected in Jarvis’ latter record sales figures.
Without a moment of hesitation, “Gay Pirates” kicks off the album by diving directly into a niche Cosmo Jarvis is shaping for himself with catchy acoustic guitar, ukulele, piano, drum and mandolin jingles. The sounds conjure up images of 1700 pirate lovers sailing the open seas, illustrated by clever-yet-silly lyrics. Jarvis has a very unique style and voice, so songs are fresh rather than stale and witty rather than cliché. Some songs are very catchy both lyrically and instrumentally, like “Dave’s House Album,” where Jarvis details the ideal locations to hook-up in other people’s residences. Unfortunately, some songs are a bit wordy and instrumentally uncreative or simple, like on the title track where Jarvis just talks for a few minutes in the middle.
Is the World Strange or Am I Strange? Is a tad messy – that is, the variety of songs contained within are obscure, refusing to remain within a solitary genre, tempo, or theme. Through and through, the album is hits and misses in repetition. If the concept intrigues you, or if you are a fan of his other work, give it a listen before you commit to purchasing this one.