Frankie Cosmos Zentropy

Frankie Cosmos Zentropy
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Since 2009, songwriter Frankie Cosmos has quietly and prolifically released 40 albums, and Zentropy, the first recorded in a studio, is her best yet. A cursory listen reveals sprightly, concise pop songs, laden with as many melodic hooks as she can fit in under two-and-a-half minutes; listen closer and Zentropy divulges depth and poignancy that transcend even the Beat Happening comparisons the album has been drawing.

"Fireman," a seemingly simple song about having a fireman for a father — "He is brave, he is strong" — ends abruptly with an acknowledgement of our tenuous grasp on life: "Today he is here, tomorrow he's gone." On "Buses Splash with Rain" and "Birthday Song," respectively, Cosmos admits to being "the kind of girl buses splash with rain" and "so clumsy," but her songs never feel cloying or mopey. Cosmos is refreshingly and unflinchingly honest, most brutally on gorgeous closer "Sad 2," in which the passing of her beloved dog forces her to question the purpose of art.

On Zentropy, Cosmos paints a painstaking portrait of internet-era isolation and love (both of the self and others) with a potent mix of intelligence, world-weariness and musicality that, perhaps a little like life itself, is over far too fast. (Double Double Whammy)