That said, a track doesn't have to put pressure on the envelope's edge in order to be worthwhile, and it is in this adept MOR realm that Cosmos succeeds. Like Osborne, Aasen Lødemel's work here takes a conventional sound and gets all conventional up in it. There are broad-and-simple 808 thumps and claps, searching synth phrases and bright bass stabs; each would sound as nearly as at home in 1998 or 1988 as they do in the waning days of 2008.
Opener "Vuelo" is an eight minute shiny, retro-cinematic cut that arrives like a visit from a college buddy who ends up outstaying his welcome. The other highlight, "Early Morning" is equally long and initially engaging, but doesn't have enough working parts to merit its length. Meanwhile, "Gamle Furutraer" might be trying to get us out on the floor, but Lødemel is playing a few BPM short of a full deck. There's often something interesting about dance music that feels like it should be fast but isn't, but again, this track just doesn't go anywhere particularly surprising.
Cosmos seems egregiously misnamed: there's nothing mysterious or vast about it, and if anything, it's a competent but uninspired genre-flexing exercise. Every track on the album obediently trots out the techniques—dropping the beat out here, speeding into a crescendo there—but it all feels mailed in. Skatebård's musical enterprise doesn't explore any strange new worlds, and the repeat listenability suffers for it. This record boldly goes where many have gone before—unused in the back of the crate.