[7 September 2006]
If you’ve seen the movie Valley Girl, then you know Josie Cotton. And, if you haven’t, then, like, ohmygod, you totally should, you know? Cotton’s contributions, “Johnny, Are You Queer?”, “He Could Be the One”, and “School Is In” were a big part of the soundtrack’s success. Like the Go-Go’s, Josie infused her early ‘80s new wave pop with a bubbly, retro sock-hop bounce. This sound carried well across her two very fun albums from that era, Convertible Music and From the Hip, which come packaged together on a single CD. After bowing out of the music industry, Cotton returned briefly in 1993 with Frightened by Nightmares. Her second prolonged absence ends with this album, Movie Disaster Music. Josie’s style has changed considerably over the years, although pop still forms her music. From jazzy torch songs to semi-industrial electronic pop, Cotton explores a broad range of moods and styles here, all somewhere just left of center. This results in a slightly disjointed listening experience, although not jarringly so. The material, itself, also falls just a little short, in both writing and execution. Every song is almost good, but neither the individual tracks nor the album as a whole ever quite congeal. Ultimately, Movie Disaster Music feels like the pet project that it is. Josie Cotton hasn’t reasserted herself into the marketplace, but this little curio will undoubtedly strike the fancy of certain fans of quirky pop.