[19 January 2009]
Alan Cohen has the ability to make everyone feel like they can make a record. That is not as dismissive as it sounds. Afterall,The Alan Cohen Experience is a complex six-song cycle of computerized psychedelia and funk. It draws inspiration from modern politics, funk and big band. It is an accomplished record. What it has in spades is a lack of pretense. It is totally approachable and tongue and cheek.
Cohen, a Brooklyn musician who is a member of Family Junction, dispels any myth about the notion of high art with his groove style record opener “Elephant”. The song revolves around the phrase, “all’s quiet on the waterfront / It’s just me and my elephant.” Innocuous enough it drives deep into the sub conscience and burrows like “five dollar foot long” Subway add. You may not like it but you will remember it.
The Alan Cohen Experience can be a traumatic one. It tends to defy genre more than cross them. Despite brevity it takes time to digest. Cohen is to be applauded for the immediacy he forces into the first release by this name. Don’t be fooled by its quirkiness. Underneath these songs simmer a post modernist with a camouflaged intellect. Cohen has an edge but he doesn’t beat you over the head with it. Instead, he undersells the artistry that goes into the self titled record, opting for a bit of self effacing humor instead.