“Big Screen: Emotional Journeys features emotive and inspiring music, ambient at times, uplifting at others. It is an album of “cinematic, heartfelt human drama: a whirlwind of emotion featuring reflective, inspiring, poignant and anthemic themes”, composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams, Tony Clarke, Daniel Lozinski, Alistair Cowan, Joe Henson, Alexis Smith, and Alastair King. One tracks truly stands out – “Touching Heaven”, a moving piece with an excellent build-up.”
Review on trailermusicnews.com… ‘Touching Heaven’ was written by Alistair Cowan!
“A L I S T A I R C O W A N Why Can I See Stars 320
Ex-Redwood frontman launches a solo chiller.
A more beautiful collection of beautifully constructed tracks you’d probably be hard- pressed to find among all the albums released this year. Breezy, spacious and airy tracks like the acoustic guitar-led Bird In The Sky, Baby Don’t Cry and Morning Sun float along like fluffy clouds in a summer sky. Elsewhere Long Way To Go dances along on a Latin rhythm, and Saying Goodbye (one of three ‘bonus’ tracks) highlights the craftsmanship of Alistair Cowan the skillful. singer-songwriter. Written, produced and arranged by Cowan (who plays all the instruments), Why Can I See Stars is a tailor-made soundtrack to sitting on a sun- kissed beach while staring out at the ocean waves, or simply chilling on an effortless summer Sunday afternoon.
Marvelous. (8/10).” Paul Henderson, April 05 ,Classic Rock, national magazine.
“Why can I see stars?” croons singer/songwriter Alistair Cowan on his first album since British song-based rock band Redwood split in 2000. Because sometimes he is so desperate that Nitrous even seems worth doing at the end of the night? Because brawls are a common occurrence after his seven pints of wife-killer?
No no no. This is a sweet wine-swilling, acoustic-driven musician from Surrey who is praised for his wide vocal range and subtle dulcet tones. Why else would he be singing so delicately about seeing stars if it wasn’t because he had just met the girl of his dreams?
Fans were disappointed when Redwood went their separate ways five years ago, but can now take comfort in the fact that at last frontman Cowan is back with a very satisfying solo album. It’s pop-folk at its simplest and sweetest and he certainly doesn’t hold back in taking this opportunity to lull listeners with his delicately tender voice.
But it’s not just the pleasing surface sound that makes Why Can I See The Stars stand out from other simple drum-backed offerings. Just ask similarly-situated Louis Eliot whose hideously drab solo album The Long Way Round made fans question if Rialto’s brief moment of fame was anything to do with him at all.
The ten prettily crafted tracks on this endearing album don’t ignore the more serious or comic situations in life. Easier To Smile flits around the subject of domestic violence, while Big Night Out dryly jokes on the partying to be had on three pounds. Cowan’s storytelling is charmingly personal and adds a much-needed layer to wrap this offering up comfortably as an album of substance.
Even if machismo stands between you and Alistair Cowan, it’s hard to believe that behind closed doors his unassuming charm won’t provoke a moment of tranquillity in the most vigorous of opposers. Single Bird in the Sky is sure to creep up on you sooner or later in true Beth Orton style and embed itself in your psyche before you even notice its mechanics.
If this album had arms, surely it would stroke you.” Charlotte Lyon, http://www.musicomh.com
“The intimate cellar bar plays host to the two acts tonight, one, as advertised, is Hipslinky, the other is their support act Alistair Cowan a singer songwriter and friend to the band.
Its always a worry when you come to see a band and are confronted by an unexpected support act, but in this case it was a joy. Witty, emotional and powerful, Alistair and his songs mix qualities from Tracy Chapman to Eric Clapton (in his more introverted stages) and even vocal hints of Eddie Vedder. There are songs about wife beating, leaving home and of course, love. Alistair was joined by Holly, an attractive and beautifully voiced “friend” who added depth and passion to the two tracks she sang on. One of the songs, Stay, added a country vibe to the predominantly pop-folk set. Where as Record Collector would have slipped seamlessly into a Northern Soul bands set. With the right mix of style and content Alistair is perfectly suited to the current singer/songwriter scene and could possibly shine above the rest.” Don Swede, Moles Club / Porters Bar Website
“….a surefire contender for album of 2005” www.betweenplanets.co.uk
“He’s got a damn fine voice…..” Paul Elliot, Kerrang.
“Acknowlegement to pop melody……could make any of these songs a potential hit across the pond” The Fly, magazine.
“This is quality stuff, whichever way you look at it………. the quality songwriting, the rock solid arrangements, and the powerful, soulful nature of singer Alistair Cowan’s vocals.” Jerry Ewing, Metal Hammer.
“…grasp of dynamics, songwriting skills and assured performances indicate a formidable force to be rckoned with.” Valerie Potter, Q Magazine, **** (four star) review.
“Expect to hear this non-stop on your friendly local radio station” Paul Branningan, Kerrang.
“This is one of my favourite songs on the album and definately one of the most commercial…. this is one of the more single friendly tracks. Good track and great live….” Grant Nichols from rock band Feeder, talking about a very fine Alistair Cowan compostition!
“An album that’s important …….. a grand vision” Jim Alexander, VOX.
On to Saturday and the one man acoustic melody that is Alistair Cowan performs for a relaxed and seated crowd at the Uncut stage. The singer/songwriter plays tracks from his latest solo album ‘Why Can I See Stars’ with Alistair’s wide vocal range complementing the beautifully crafted songs, the honest delivery of each emotive song is a pleasure to watch.
“On Saturday former Redwood front man Alistair Cowan took to The Uncut Stage in support of his second album ‘Why Can I See Stars’. Alistair Cowan plays a emotionally driven acoustic songs and this was a great way to start the festivals second day” http://www.alternative-links.co.uk/gigreviews/
“So over to the Uncut Magazine stage to see the local legend that is Alistair Cowan, play a load of narrative acoustic songs. He rocked, chatting away to the audience and telling jokes. A shame his set was so short, and the P.A going over the top of him meaning he had to stop a song halfway through.”http://www.underdogzine.co.uk/
“The Beautiful acoustic sounds of singer/songwriter Alistair Cowan took hold of the Guildford crowd that surrounded stage 2 on Saturday afternoon.
The former member of Redwood, well known and well respected in Guildford’s music scene, played a powerful set with songs from his latest solo album “Why I can see stars” such as “Stay” featuring the lovely vocals of Holly and “Saving Grace”.
For those who missed it Alistair will be playing at the Barfly in London on Friday 23rd July if you can make it I would strongly recommend being there.” Jon Dowling, Official Guilfest website, www.guilfest.co.uk
“Alistair Cowan is a wonderful singer-songwriter with mass critical acclaim. ” The Surrey Advertiser.
“…….a subliminal set (Guilfest 2004)t from guildford’s alistair cowan, now enjoying well-deserved airplay on radio 2 ” GT NEWS, www.gavinthomas.com.