The latest solo LP from Tim Cohen arrives courtesy of Sinderlyn (Homeshake, Cymbals Eat Guitars). Cohen may not reinvent the wheel on The Modern World, but what he does he does very well indeed. His songwriting style is a mixture of hard-bitten and soft, melancholy and hopeful, in a manner that recalls Eels and Girls. Throw in a good way with a tune and a warm, clear tenor and you’ve got yourself a winning record.
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A billion or so Fresh & Onlys albums down the line Tim Cohen once again finds a solo vehicle for his relentless creativity. Luckily there's not much of the 50s inspired rock and roll here that allowed his previous 'Magic Trick' album to plod somewhat, this is further example of his rather laissez faire attitude to songwriting. He sort of comes across as a cross between some Of Montreal B Sides and something splurged out by fellow relentless Tim, Tim Presley. He has good tunes in him, I can hear them trying to get through. Here, Cohen has managed to make an album that is both pleasant on the ear and relentlessly unmemorable. Everything about it is simply ok, the songwriting, the production, the singing, the arrangements. You wouldn't turn it off - there's nothing turn-offable about - perhaps his voice if you aren't used to it. He has that Adam Green crooning thing going on.
He gets away with it all because he's rather charming, 'Shape of Light' for example is rather a lovely thing created (presumably on casio keyboard) and also seemingly sung as if he's only heard the song once before committing his vocals to tape. Tim Cohen is like that friend who annoys you a bit and messes you about then you see that lolling smile again and you think "why you daft bugger".
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- The Modern World by Tim Cohen
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