Headphones: Mondo Cozmo and His 'Plastic Soul'

Third time might just be a charm for singer-songwriter Joshua Ostrander who has returned as Mondo Cozmo, debuting his new LP, "Plastic Soul." Jack Johnson released the second of three singles off his unreleased album "All the Light Above It Too." Let your mind be at peace with two new music videos, one from Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna, and one from Chase & Status ft. Emeli Sandé.

Album of the Week: Plastic Soul – Mondo Cozmo: Philadelphia born, LA-based front man Joshua Ostrander has returned for his third break in the music biz. With the help of Republic Records, Ostrander marks his territory, releasing his first full LP, "Plastic Soul." The album means a great deal to Joshua and his inspiration to return solo after being with groups Laguardia in the early 2000s, and the Easter Conference Champions in more recent years.

The album opens with the whimsical dreamy record title track, "Plastic Soul." The song is about dreaming of the afterlife, and whenever he “thinks of her.” It’s an incredible sound to hook everyone onto his great first record. The talented singer recalls David Bowie’s influence on the album and title track in an interview: “Bowie referred to his music as Plastic Soul. I always loved that. I recorded my song 'Plastic Soul' the weekend he passed away… When they asked what I was calling the record I said, 'Plastic Soul' and everybody just nodded their head."

Each track is uplifting in complimentary layers, alongside Ostrander’s powerful vocal. A series of horn instruments carry through into the early released, desperate single "Hold On To Me." The singer-songwriter gives an electric performance. Another track where Cozmo’s desperation is easily heard is "Thunder."

The pre-released "Higher," is edgy and ominously funky. Again, you can hear that special age and tang to Josh’s voice that emulates late legends like Bono. Supporting background chatter, “Oo’s," the bass and electric guitar, paired with strategic drumming really sets the sound and takes us to Cozmo’s "Higher" place.

A similar distorting, chatter-filled sound flows underneath the more accentuated instruments in "Come With Me." This track will truly set you free. There’s no proper way to explain how, but we just trust something in Ostrander’s voice.

The early released "Shine," surely does shine in an abundance of love. Each detail of the acoustic guitar strumming, tambourine, light drums, electric guitar and harmonious vocals make this the inspirational track it is. “Let ‘em get high/Let ‘em get stoned/Everything will be alright if we let it go.” This band’s sound is already huge; they have the potential to affect people alike the Lumineers, The War on Drugs and more influential bands do.

Ostrander’s songwriting is coherent, though fairly simplistic. The artist’s strengths in producing and creating a world around his lyrics are almost impeccable and seemingly "Automatic." The album is closed out with the exhilarating "Chemical Dream," that all “Starts out with a look.” If Mondo Cozmo continues to make this charged and daring music, I can’t see Joshua Ostrander’s career dwindling any time soon.

Single of the Week: ‘Sunsets For Someone Else’ – Jack Johnson: The pre-released single off his upcoming album "All the Light Above It Too," is precise and perfectly catchy. The earnest rasp in Johnson’s voice is irresistible coated over the soft, cultured acoustics.  

The album explores Jack Johnson’s past year, remarking on a huge part of it being, “A year in which I sailed through the North Atlantic Gyre for a documentary about plastic pollution,” he told Thank Folk For That. The album was recorded in Johnson’s Mango Tree Studio located in Hawaii.

Johnson never fails to write witty and meaningful lyrics. The singer-songwriter was inspired with a main lyric to "Sunsets For Someone Else," while looking at an in-flight catalog. In an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine, Johnson said, "The in-flight magazine is interesting because there's always articles about different things in Hawaii, so a lot of times I'll see somebody and I won't know if it's somebody I know or if it's somebody I've just seen in a commercial or advertisements. There was a girl in one of the advertisements, for a hotel or something, and I wasn't sure if I knew her. I talked to Kelly a little bit about the idea of 'I know I've seen your face somewhere,' and then that next line I came up with is 'selling something, some big idea.' It became the beginning of the new song, 'Sunsets for Somebody Else.'"

Music Videos

Hip-Hop/Rap: LOYALTY. – Kendrick Lamar featuring Rihanna: Allow Rihanna and Kendrick to show you what loyalty is. Kendrick shows us loyalty goes to the extent of trusting someone with your life as he holds Rihanna over an entire city and almost kills them both in the final scene. The incredible new music video directed by Dave Mayers & The Little Homies is the fourth track on "DAMN." to feature a visual story.

Dance: Love Me More – Chase & Status ft. Emeli Sandé: Beautiful stories play over a variety of characters stressing the idea of choosing oneself. The music video is a compilation of videos from multiple perspectives at a festival completely letting go of fear.

Update: Country Hall of Famer Glen Campbell died at 81 years old. Hear what Brad Paisley and Jimmy Webb had to say. Watch two special tributes for the man himself. Hear John Mayer's tribute at his show in Nashville, as well as Carlos Santana's tribute at a his show in Detroit.