Washington, DC-based sophisticates Thievery Corporation (producers Rob Garza and Eric Hilton) made several albums of superb down-tempo electronica prior to THE COSMIC GAME, and each release refined the duo's sensuous blend of deep, head-nodding beats, exotic world-music melodies, and lounge-ready atmospherics. This 2005 record builds on the strengths of the Corporation's previous albums, offering more stylish, club-targeted soundscapes to excellent effect. The series of all-star guests that parades through the album raises the Corporation's profile even higher.
The Flaming Lips contribute additional instruments and vocals to the dreamy opener "Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun)," while the trip-hop-flavored "Revolution Solution" features Perry Farrell on vocals. Indian themes surface with vocalist Gunjan and sitar player Arjuna Pashwami on "Satyam Shivam Sundaram," and Verny Varela's singing gives the crowning touch to the bossa nova track "Ambicion Eterna." Even David Byrne makes an appearance, on the spacey mariachi boogaloo "The Heart's a Lonely Hunter." This fine mix of elements results in Thievery Corporation's most pop-oriented and accessible release, without sacrificing any of the group's ear-pleasing artistry.
Rolling Stone (No. 968, p.73) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[THE COSMIC GAME] displays much of what we've come to expect from Thievery: lush, down-tempo beats laced with authentic Jamaican and Latin flair. One notable change? Big-time guest spots..."
Uncut (p.108) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[With] some soulful reggae vibes."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.89) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Washington DC's favourite loungecore dubheads embellish their gently pulsating, reggae-tinged house style with Latin and Indian influences."