Cotton Mather Death of The Cool
Cotton Mather was easily one of the best power pop bands of the 90’s – and perhaps ever. That makes Death of the Cool, their first proper release in 15 years, one of the most anticipated albums of the year.
Based on the readings of the I Ching, the ancient book of Chinese wisdom and advice, Robert Harrison has composed songs that are complicated in nature but still very accessible. The I Ching (or Chinese Book of Changes) is based on 64 hexagrams, with each song referencing one of these hexagrams.
An early track on the LP, “Close To The Sun”, is a cerebral composition, for sure. But it has a groove to it that is almost hypnotic or spiritual. Imagine if David Byrne had hosted American Bandstand. It’s smart but you can dance to it.
Hexagram 24 (about “turning back onto the path”) was the impetus for the song “The Book of Too Late Changes”. Based on hexagram 6, the bass-driven “Life of The Liar” will remind you of classic Bowie.
Other highlights include the gorgeous melody and harmonies in “The Land of Flowers”, the hooky “Never Be It”, the cerebral Bowie-style pop of “Waters Raging” and the beautiful piano-driven “The End of DeWitt Finley”.
It’s been 15 years between Death of The Cool and Kontiki, the last proper Cotton Mather album. It was worth the wait. Death of The Cool is the most intriguing album of 2016 so far. You can purchase a digital download through Amazon or get a physical CD through Kool Kat Musik.