Lucky Fonz III Roosbeef, Marine Dorleijn (Moss), Marike Jager, Charlie Dee, Eefje de Visser, Leine. All these fine Dutch artist have in the last ten years competed in the singer-songwriter category of de Grote Prijs van Nederland. It’s an impressive list, but unfortunately not every category of the competition is this successful in bringing forth new talent. For instance, winning the Grote Prijs for pop / rock, like The Cosmic Carnival did in 2009, isn’t exactly the gate that leads to a road paved with platinum records. This is why the sextet have spent three years working on their debut album. The hard work has paid of: Change the World or Go Home is an original and sometimes impressive album.
The Cosmic Carnival, like countless other bands, is influenced by the 60s and 70s, but the unlike most of their comptemporaries, the band from 010 do not restrict themselves to just one or two genres. Opening track echoes a host of bands that were at the center of the summer of love. Soon after psychedelica and West Coast pop are supplemented with funk, blues, gospel and even salsa and the album becomes an exotic party to the ears. The instrumentations are liberal to say the least; guitars and strings compete for attention with winds and rich vocal harmonies.
The enormous versatility of Change the World or Go Home could easily have made it into a mishmash of an album. Bu the Cosmic Carnival manage to blend their many colors charmingly and effective. I would be surprised if many of their live show did not end up as merry hippy raves. Even listening to their music at home creates something of West Coast pop-party. The fact that the Cosmic Carnival manage to produce such a historically rich sound with at least one musical foot in the present is enough reason to give this surprising debut a chance.
This review was adapted from: Krenten uit de Pop.