Bloom Forever is the debut album from songwriter and former S.C.U.M. frontman Thomas Cohen. On this vinyl LP and CD his delicate vocals are matched with ornate and grand arrangements, but he doesn’t forgot his post-punk roots either. The rich and delicate folk-pop songs are often disrupted with bursts of distorted sounds and unusual instrumentation.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 04 May 2016It must be very difficult to actually look more of a twat than Thomas Cohen does on the cover of this, the second of today’s ‘Cohen’ special alongside namesake Chris. To talk about the sleeve for a minute, he’s wearing aviator shades, red trousers a really odd cardigan and is adopting a kind of sit-up-and-beg pose that is usually utilised by greedy West Highland Terriers when there are crumbs of food on the table. How someone at the record company stopped in their tracks thumbing through the rushes proclaiming ‘THAT’S IT! That’s the one!’ is anyone’s guess. Aaaanyway I wrote all that whilst trying to get my head around ‘Honeymoon’ the rather sprawling opening track which is a kind of warped Chris Isaak ballad interrupted by an extremely rude and boisterous saxophone and an equally disagreeable guitar solo. It’s at this point that the realisation hits me as to who Thomas Cohen is, he was in S.C.U.M but more importantly as far as the tabloid media are concerned he is the partner of the late Peaches Geldof. Cohen states in the press release that he doesn’t want the album to be judged on the awful tragedy in his life so I do hope he will forgive my little tirade about the sleeve or the fact that I just can’t deal with the guitar solos that stand out on early tracks like turds on trifles. Otherwise I’m finding the album a reasonable listen. Cohen has quite a rich voice which suits this kind of slow burning, keening rock of tracks like ‘Morning Fall’. interestingly Cohen has chosen to release the tracks in chronological order of which they were recorded so you can kind of hear him finding his feet. Tracks like the breezy ‘Hazy Shades’ owe lots to ’70’s singer songwriters like Al Stewart. The proceeding tragedy makes songs like ‘Country Home’ almost unbearingly poignant as Cohen describes his wife’s passing. The record is a tough listen but has moments of inspired songwriting that is both wracked and melodic, ’New Morning Comes’ perfectly demonstrates this juxtaposition. In the end, despite that sleeve I enjoyed this.
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- Bloom Forever by Thomas Cohen
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