Chris Cohen has played with Deerhoof, Cryptacise, Cass McCombs and plenty more, but here he leads proceedings himself. As If Apart is a lovely set of gentle guitar-led pop, somewhat in the vein of a classic San Francisco 70’s rock songwriter LP. Strong songs, but more importantly a lovely feel throughout. On Captured Tracks.
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Chris Cohen’s previous effort ‘Overgrown Path’ was a favourite in this here office with one Li’l Biz particularly keen on it’s myriad pop charms. Fast forward to a couple of hearts later and Cohen re-appears with his second record on Captured Tracks.
Cohen makes the kind of music I usually like. It’s twisty, turny eccentric pop with equal nods towards Field Music and Deerhoof. What prevents it becoming as good as the classic pop the likes of Fugu used to make is that Cohen sounds half asleep throughout. He has the sort of drowsy non-threatening voice that is just kind of there and there are little or no attempts to engage lyrically. This is exemplified perfectly on the opening two tracks which both sound pleasant to the ear yet seemingly leave absolutely no trace whatsoever once they have finished. On ‘Drink From A Silver Cup’ you start wishing to slap him across the face and shout ‘wake up lad’.
He really needs to get a grip of himself because when he puts his back into it there are some nice pop moves, ‘In a Fable’ has the sort of unexpected, unexplained chord changes that were practically invented by Steely Dan but the insipid production doesn’t do the melodies justice as the song fiddles around this way and that in a vaguely Toro Y Moi manner. If this was the demo blueprint then I’d filer under promising but music like this needs a bit more about it to truly catch the ear. A very frustrating listen as it could have been great.
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- As If Apart by Chris Cohen
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