April 9th, 2012 by MicheleZ
Singer/songwriter Adam Cohen’s latest release, Like a Man, veers from the style of his previous output, and swims more in the vein of his father’s writing style. Sparse arrangements/ instrumentation, vocal melodies that stray slightly off the path of diatonicism, and emotionally revelatory lyrics are so refreshing compared to his earlier pop hits, like “Cry Ophelia” from his 1998 self-titled album. Cohen’s musical influences range from Randy Newman and Serge Gainsbourg, to Prince and U2. You can hear flecks of Bob Dylan’s and Tom Waits’ songwriting steez in the songs from Cohen’s most recent effort.
The real poet and romantic emerges in mellifluous verses that need no deciphering, but still teem with rhythm and eloquence. He’s not afraid to sing his mind in a way that showcases his simple yet resonant vocal melodies, as well as what’s going on in his head, as demonstrated in the line, “I know the kind of thing that makes you laugh, the way you tilt your head for a photograph. What other guy knows you like that?”
Producer Patrick Leonard recorded Like a Man with the musicians playing together in one room, including Don Was on upright bass, Jennifer Warnes singing harmony, and the Sonus Quartet providing the mellow hum of bowed strings.
Cohen may chip from his father’s block stylistically, but lyrically he is much more hopefully romantic. Lines like “I’ve got a matchbox with your name and your number on it. I’m not gonna wait, no I’m gonna call it. I can picture us tangled, our lips in a lock. These are just thoughts, little matchbox” epitomize his idealism, which is also evident in his gentle guitar riffs.