I, Cosmonaut

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Sputnik is a Cleveland three-piece led by the breezy vocals and songwriting of Alan Grandy (ex-Jehova's Waitresses). I, Cosmonaut's generally light quality, jangling acoustics, and eager backing harmonies might remind some listeners of contemporary indie pop, if only because the irresistibly peppy opener "Hello" wouldn't be out of place on a Lucksmiths record. But the album is really a showcase for Grandy's decidedly traditional, and quite talented songwriting. With its tightly-wound arrangements and unique melodies (particularly on "Obsession" and "Elisabeth") the record suggests the Wedding Present, or the maturity of Workbook-era Bob Mould. Though Grandy's acoustic playing is accomplished throughout, things tend to get a little weightless every now and again. There might've been some more electric guitar, just for grit's sake, like the one in the background of mid-album standout "Deadmanfloat." Other Cosmonaut highlights include the gorgeously drifting "Alienne," as well as a rousing cover of the Sonny Curtis gem "Love Is All Around," better known as the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

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