Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Listening Booth: 1970
Genres: Pop, Rock
One Sunday morning in the early '70's, a youngster in Cleveland caught an earful of Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks' and his life was never the same. That kid was Marc Cohn and soon after that morning he bought everything Mor... more »
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One Sunday morning in the early '70's, a youngster in Cleveland caught an earful of Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks' and his life was never the same. That kid was Marc Cohn and soon after that morning he bought everything Morrison had released to date, along with works by Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne.
Cohn's rootsier, acoustic neofolk style harkens back to the more
sophisticated rock and pop inflections of singer-songwriters of two decades past - his supple, velvety baritone and elegant piano-based arrangements frame shrewdly crafted songs ripe with pop touches.
Marc Cohn's new record on Saguaro Road will focus on the year 1970,
an important year for music fans in general and particularly for Marc,
because many significant albums and singles were released then that had an impact on his decision to become an artist.
The album features Marc's personal interpretations of classic songs
written by and/or made famous in 1970 by Paul McCartney, John
Lennon, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, John Fogerty and CCR, Smokey
Robinson, Joe Cocker, Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Clapton and several
Songs include 'Wild World,' 'The Tears of A Clown,' 'The Letter,' 'Maybe I'm Amazed' and 'Make it With You' and features guest duet with India.Arie.
The album is produced by Grammy-winning producer John
Leventhal (Shawn Colvin, Record of the Year), who also just produced
the new album by Rosanne Cash, 'The List.'
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Great concept, wish I loved the result
Rushmore | CHICAGO, IL United States | 07/21/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It turns out this is a really gutsy thing to do, making a record of covers of 40-year old pop songs. Cohn opens with the weakest track by far, Wild World by Cat Stevens. Now, I have a lot of Cat Stevens on my Ipod, and some of his songs are more easily covered, but this particular song needs to be heard in the voice of Cat Stevens.
When Cohn picks songs that are not still all over the oldies stations (Look At Me, No Matter What), it works better for me. When he invites comparison to iconic renditions that are still heard today, he usually suffers. For one thing, he sings them SOOOOO slowly. It reminds me of how my spouse always feels that Happy Birthday is sung at a dirgelike tempo and makes hand motions to speed it up through the entire song. In particular, The Letter had me screaming at the CD. I am sure that Cohn just wants to wring every ounce of emotion from these songs that mean so much to him, but that can be difficult to listen to.
On a handful of other songs, Cohn is just OK. Maybe I'm Amazed - not McCartney, but not bad. The Only Living Boy in New York - on the slow side, but tolerable. Into the Mystic - again, tolerable. After Midnight - channeling Eric Clapton Unplugged, not terrible.
There is one song on this CD that I really, really liked, and that is Make It With You, with India.Arie. I would not have guessed it. Their voices blend together really well, and they somehow manage to make this trite old chestnut sound fresh.
These are my reactions after one time through the CD. Maybe it will grow on me. It's not something I would put away and never take out again. I know these songs mean a lot to Marc Cohn. I know this is not just a throwaway album of covers. But this is a guy who has written some incredible stuff of his own, maybe the only artist with two CDs in my personal all-time Top 20 (Marc Cohn and Join the Parade). It seems unfair that he should set himself up for comparison on these iconic pop songs. Especially since, in the majority of cases, he suffers by comparison. I doubt that he was going for an inoffensive covers album, but unfortunately that's what I think of it."
Great Songs, So-So Interpretations
Mister Mash | Beavercreek, OH United States | 07/22/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I find I must agree with nearly everything written by RUSHMORE; especially that only Cat Stevens can do "Wild World". It's dandy that these classic songs are getting current exposure, and maybe get a new audience, but these interpretations are too high a price to pay. I can't say I like any - all turned into moderate to slow tempo jazzy arrangements. Seems like "Last Living Boy in New York" would be a chance to hit a homer, but it fails, IMHO. Of course "The Letter" was released in 1967 by the Box Tops. Oh wait, I get it, he's covering the 1970 Joe Cocker cover. Either way, this version sucks. Loved his last CD "Follow the Parade". Stick with your own high quality original stuff, Marc."
Very happily suprised!
Richard Bunn | Alexandria, VA | 07/31/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a fan of Mr Cohn for a while. I lived in Memphis in the earl 70s and his first hit took me back. This new collection was great cover of other works. I enjoyed Mr. Cohn's interprutation of these tunes, in may ways more then I enjoyed the originals. It's hard for an artist to do this kind of thing and not sound like a poor second. In this case this album makes these tunes new again. But like candy, I sure could use some more....."