Album Review: Josie Cotton - Everything Is Oh Yeah
Everything Is Oh Yeah
Kitten Robot/Cleopatra Records
“Johnny are you queer, boy, Johnny are you queer” – anybody who grew up in the 1980s sang along with that smash hit and undoubtedly knew the name Josie Cotton - if not for any other reason than for her appearance in the film Valley Girl where she sang this song. A couple of more hits followed, “He Could Be the One” and “Jimmy Loves Maryanne,” but then it was mostly radio silent. Her album Everything Is Oh Yeah was slated for a 1986 release, but due to some industry mumbo jumbo it ended up on the shelf until it was recently rediscovered when they were looking for music to include in the latest season of Stranger Things. This is chalk full of all the quirkiness you’d expect from Cotton with a dance pop sound fusing with good, old-fashion rock-n-roll that caused a brew-ha-ha between Malcolm McLaren and Brian Setzer at the recording studio back in the day. Cotton instantly displays that familiar 80s power pop vibe and has you clapping along with the title track “Everything Is Oh Yeah,” but as you dig deeper into this album you discover that her true genius doesn’t come when fitting in with the rest of the bubblegum pop of the day, but by staying authentically true to herself and stepping out of the box more often than not. She taps into a retro 1960s campiness with “Sometimes Girl,” a surf vibe on “Love’s Love,” and a straight-ahead rock-a-billy sound on “Money,” a surefire song to get you swinging around the dancehall floor on a Friday night. She also includes covers of The Beatles “The Night Before,” and The Tremeloes “Here Comes My Baby” – keeping each one close to the original but giving them just enough twist of her uniqueness to make them her own. In its own way this album is a nostalgic, double throwback as it takes you first to the 1980s, and then pulls you to the 1960s. As the old thought goes, “what was once trendy, will always come back into style” – such may be the case with Josie Cotton and the perfectly timed release of Everything Is Oh Yeah.