Singer/songwriter Adam Cohen’s latest release, Like a Man, refreshingly veers from the style of his previous output and gravitates more toward that of his father, Leonard Cohen. Sparse arrangements, slightly complex vocal melodies, and emotionally revelatory lyrics are at the core of this collection of beautiful love songs. Cohen’s musical influences range from Randy Newman and Serge Gainsbourg, to Prince and U2.
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.
The real poet and romantic emerges in mellifluous verses that need no deciphering, but still teem with rhythm and eloquence. Cohen is not afraid to sing his mind through soothing vocal melodies and lines that could melt someone’s heart, such as “I know what you look like in the morning, your kisses are soft and warm. I can draw you with my eyes closed, I’ve seen you with nothing on but the radio,” from “What Other Guy”.
Cohen may chip from his father’s block stylistically, but lyrically he is much more optimistic. The lines, “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. The power of these tunes to stick in the heart and mind will surely garner them a place in the canon of romantic folk songs.