Chris Bell's one and only solo album came out in 1992 but he had been gone nearly 14 years by then, dead at 27 from a late night auto accident in East Memphis. He was a founding member of Big Star, mostly estranged from the band after the first album as Alex Chilton came more to take the central role. I Am the Cosmos truly sounds like a lost Big Star album. In fact, it also helps explain some of the curves and bends of Chilton's own post-Big Star career, which veered much more wildly, from real good bluesy stuff to effective noise squalls and back again to these dark nights of the adolescent soul, at which Big Star particularly excelled. In my opinion Third/Sister Lovers is as good as it ever got. That was long after Chris Bell had left the band, but Cosmos, recorded at approximately the same time, is nevertheless at the heart of the project, it can't be denied. Both albums are possessed of a similar eerie spirit, disconnected lost souls wandering the audio hollows of a recording studio. "Though I Know She Lies" closes the original '92 release, letting Bell retreat all the way into himself as the story turns blankly naturalistic, and thus bleak. As far as I'm concerned it's the deepest point reached by the album, which is otherwise the usual story about wanting a girl, told from multiple points of view, enlarged thematically as unrequited love, obsession, depression, yearning and failure to connect, even Christian faith. Just another story about a guy who liked a girl who didn't like him, and there are a lot of those. But seen from certain angles Bell makes it look like looking into the abyss.