Thievery Corporation - The Cosmic Game [ESL Music - 2005]Lounge-music has been out of fashion for years now, but luckily the American duo Thievery Corporation is not part of that trend. They just continue their work which they’re good at, and that’s creating very relaxing “lounge” records, accompanied by many influences from diverse musical styles.
Their last record The Richest Man In Babylon became the most comforting chill-out record of the year 2002 and even made it to my yearlist. Whether this counts for The Cosmic Game I cannot say in March already, but it’s for sure it stands an excellent chance. Rob Garza and Eric Hilton use, as always done, a lot of varied musical influences in their mid-tempo trip-hop-alike tracks. One can recognize a lot of dub in the 16 songs on the album, but Indian, Brazilian and Arabic parts are not forgotten. And there’s more, because the duo isn’t afraid to use some psychedelia, bossa-nova and even some rock too.
To strengthen their grooves, they have always used a whole bunch of guest singers and musicians, and The Cosmic Game is no exception to that rule. In the opening track we hear The Flaming Lips helping out, but I find this a rather unsuccessful combination. It’s perhaps a bit too spacey, and too different compared to the other songs on the album. The collaboration which does get my full support is the one on Revolution Solution, with Perry Farrell doing the vocals. Not surprisingly, this track is the first single. Wonderful. This counts for the dub-infested Amerimacka, accompanied by Notch here. Somewhat unexpected, David “Talking Heads” Byrne also joins Thievery Corporation on one song. I can only declare he hardly ever sounded that good.
Too bad not all tracks stand out as some mentioned above (that is impossible anyway), but the “less good” tracks are very good as background music, no matter the situation. Dreamy, happy, wintry, late-night summer… The Cosmic Game is a timeless album. I know some people avert their looks immediately when they read the words “lounge”; Thievery Corporation has more to offer than that though, believe me. Listeners already familiar with this act’s work, won’t burn their fingers on The Cosmic Game.Justin Faase