(02 February 2014) The Cosmic Remedy is a new side project formed by Yesterdays' Bogoti-Bokor Akos. Akos and his colleagues are from Transylvania. Late last year, he reached out to Musical Discoveries to let us know that this side project would result in a new self-titled album and that Yesterdays would return to the studio in early 2014.
The Cosmic Remedy's debut self-titled album (Seacrest Oy (Romania) SCR - 1007, 2013) is comprised of 14 individual songs delivered in four suites. The total running time is just under an hour. The jewel-packed CD is accompanied by a glossy full-color booklet loaded with photos of the artists, credits and full lyrics.
Says Akos, "It is so strange how a new song comes to life, sometime I grab my phone or camera to record short ideas, themes, melodies. The secret folder keeps on growing and last year I decided to work on some of these songs and to record an album." He continues, "It was clear to me that this music is different from anything I've done with Yesterdays, so I treated this idea like this: songs for an imaginary band, involving some old and new friends, playing and recording together."
Akos plays a broad range of instruments and has produced the album. He is joined by a bevy of colleagues including: Ulf Yacobs (male vocals); Timo De Moraes (male vocals); Kimo Portsi (drums, percussion); Popomajor Tibor (bass); Zsigo Lazio (drums); Kecskemeti Gabor (flute); Francesco Faiulo (bass); and Kiss Jozsef Tamas (bass).
Three female singers contribute lead vocals to four tracks in the "Lost Marbles" suites. They are pictured left and include: Vera Klima, lulia Pardau and Ercsey Andrea Emese "Sissy." Frequent visitors will recognize Sissy from earlier Yesterdays releases. Also note lulia Pardau contributes backing vocals to the tracks "I'll Be Your Friend" and "Blue Sea."
Akos told us, "Aa the journey began, tracks started to fly through the internet to Finland, Italy, Brazil, Germany and Hungary. And the idea of this album got more colorful each and every week." He continued, "We were thinking in terms of catchy songs, be it progressive rock, pop, power pop, proto-prog, we used all our favorite things to record instruments."
The album spans a range of styles from progressive to pop, alternative and folk. Lyric writing has been split between Akos and Claudia Bettina, a young woman whose work will be reviewed in these pages soon. An interview with Claudia will be published at the same time. An instrumental "Overture" opens the album before an epic Genesis- or early Quidam-style progressive number entitled "Blue Skies" takes over.
Listen for instrumental allusions to Yes in "What You Are," complete with rich bass playing and lovely vocal harmonies. "Postcard From Prague" continues in a similar vein but gives way to the Beatlesque "Susie and Me" and I'll Be Your Friend." The "Case of Memories" suite concludes with "I Don't Have To Run," whose delightful flute excursions perfectly balance Tico's lead vocal.
Vera Klima (Germany) opens the "Lost Marbles" suite with the pop ballad "Daylight Dreaming" penned by Claudia. Her evocative and crystalline vocal work are backed primarily by Akos' instrumental work. Vocal layers add harmonies almost throughout the extremely well-produced track. Iulia Pardau assumes lead vocal duty in the stunning folk-rock track "Story of a Prince" also penned by Claudia. Her powerful voice stands out in the front of the mix, however additional layers have been provided to add texture to the mix. A lovely flute excursion concludes the number.
Album standout "Blue Sea" is a delicately arranged ballad also sung by Iulia Pardau. Her crystalline vocal work is produced almost without backing harmony although additional vocal layers were tracked to contribute depth when the arrangements blossom. It is a stunning track.
The final track of the suite is a more progressively-styled tune sung by Ercsy Andrea Emese who has also provided the track's lyrics. Her delicate voice delivers both lyrical and vocalise components of the song. Listen for the guitar and further instrumental excursions between the lyrical passages. Gorgeous.
The album concludes with three tracks that comprise the "Farewell Suite." We especially appreciated the tremendous acoustic guitar work in the short "Welcome to the Pepperland Lounge." The rocking Beatlesque track "Train to Nowhere" is well sung with great vocal harmonies and instrumental production. The album concludes with the gentle rocker "Hiding from the Sun." Keyboard washes and acoustic guitar-led arrangements perfectly support Tico's lead vocal.
The Cosmic Rememdy is an outstanding project that brings together the work of many artists and is a natural growth from Akos' work with Yesterdays. We especially enjoyed the female vocals suite although the whole album works great as a whole.
A labor of love that took Akos and the project members many months to assemble, The Cosmic Rememdy is a great album!