Written by Samuel Barker
Jul 20, 2013 at 12:01 AM
ImageAustin-via-Boston singer-songwriter, Greg Mullen, put together The Cosmic American Band for his sophomore release, There Are AMERICAS Beyond This America. As if you can’t tell from the album title, there are some trippy moments in Mullen’s songwriting, but the sound is a wonderful mix of Americana, folk and country. Sure, some elements of the album sound straight out of the 70s, but that just adds to the charm of the album.

Recorded completely analog and transferred directly to vinyl, There Are AMERICAS Beyond This America has the warmth of albums past that end up missing from most current releases. I believe it definitely adds to the sound and makes the album more inviting.

Songwriting-wise, Greg Mullen runs the gamut from sad love songs to trippy imagery to almost abstract thoughts, which are all encased in acoustic and harmonica led tunes. The addition of The Cosmic American Band accents the base songs perfectly. Shuffling drums, bouncing bass tracks and wailing pedal steel create a wall of sound to complement each song throughout the album.

Lyrically, you cannot help but be charmed by Mullen’s observations in our world. The lonely soul falling in love with a girl in a band that they knew once before paints a great picture that most of us can relate to with Looking at Pictures of Your Girlfriend on Facebook. There’s Always Going to Be Someone Impressed by the Brand of Cigarettes You Smoke weaves a few tales of lamenting those missed moments of happiness while wishing you’d not giving up on the coping device.

There are many shining moments in this CD, but you really don’t need me to give my contrived view of what they all mean. I could be completely off-base on what Mullen is singing about, but joy of an album such as this is the ability to create new tales for the characters each time you listen.

And the album’s cover and liner notes are all in 3-D…and not the new-fangled 3-D, but the red and blue 3-D that old movies were done in. Just another cool element for this package of songs.

Pick this album up at Mullen’s Bandcamp site:  http://gregmullen.bandcamp.com/album/there-are-americas-beyond-this-america