Es dauerte länger, als er dachte, aber nun hat er es doch geschafft: Adam Cohen hat sich emanzipiert. Der Singer / Songwriter brauchte lange, um aus dem Schatten seines übermächtigen Vaters Leonard Cohen zu treten. Nachdem er sich jahrelang weigerte, öffentlich auch nur eine Note seines Dads zu singen, gelang ihm 2007 im Alter von 34 Jahren auf einer Bühne in Barcelona eine Interpretation von "The Waltz" - auf Spanisch. Adam Cohen war grad selbst Vater geworden.
Mit "Like A Man" legt er nun ein intimes, romantisches und in kluger Weise reflexives Album vor. Und natürlich erinnern die Songs an die seines Vaters, in der Art wie Kinder nun mal ihren Eltern gleichen. Adam Cohen ist jetzt quasi ins Familienunternehmen eingestiegen. Und freut sich über Lob vom Senior, etwa für "What Other Guy" oder den Titelsong.
"Like A Man" ist bereits Cohens drittes Soloalbum (eins nahm er mit der US-Band Low Millions auf), aber das erste, auf dem wirklich er selbst zu hören ist.
The son of the legendary Leonard Cohen, all his life Adam had sought an artistic space beyond the reach of his father’s looming shadow. But in January 2007, at the age of 34, Adam Cohen owned up to his legacy. After years of declining to sing in public so much as a single note written by his father or to participate in any tribute, on stage in Barcelona, Adam sang Leonard’s classic song Take This Waltz — in Spanish.
Intimate, romantic yet shrewdly reflective, Adam’s songs on ‘Like A Man’ evoke something of his father just as in any child you can discern the echo of the parent. But there is Adam’s own unique and distinct voice and perspective too — a plain-speaking style freighted with disarming candour.
“‘Like A Man’ is steeped in my recognizing that I am in the family business. Despite my efforts to carve out a different identity, really I belong to a long line of people who have embraced their father’s business. And to have my father pronounce that I have world-class love songs on my record — ‘Like A Man’ and ‘What Other Guy’ — is a deeply gratifying compliment.”
Born in Montreal, Canada in 1972 to Leonard Cohen and his then-wife Suzanne Elrod, Adam has been a musician ever since he could walk, “always banging on teacups and the backs of chairs, stomping my foot and trying to whistle”. A home full of instruments encouraged Adam’s “unabashed musical fearlessness” and, though only formally tutored on violin, he taught himself to play “drums, piano and guitar ‘moderately well”. Adam grew up immersed in Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman and Bob Marley albums, “unless I was hanging out with my dad when the turntable skewed more to Hank Williams, or, with my mother, to Marvin Gaye”.
Adam is not alone as a musician both helped and burdened by the legacy of legendary parents.
“I’ve spent time with Jakob Dylan and Sean Lennon. Chris Stills and I have long been close friends, and Rufus Wainwright is now part of my family — he fathered my sister’s child. I can assure you there is no secret handshake in the “sons of” club. Yes, we all inherited good names, and possibly even some talent. But when you’re in a room alone, your last name is not writing songs for you or making good decisions for you. Stronger than your last name is your personal ability and strength to forge your own voice. Rufus, for example, really found his voice early. I came to mine embarrassingly late.”
In 1998 Adam released his self-titled debut album on Columbia / Sony — a record that sounded determined to make a splash on mainstream radio and MTV.
“Although I’m not embarrassed by the songwriting on my first record, I do believe the production choices were poor; I was chasing a sound that were not entirely my own. I was enamoured with very accomplished sounding records by seasoned veterans, and didn’t understand how much my youth and lack of polish would’ve been great to capture honestly.”
Six years later, Adam reappeared, as the singer, guitarist and front man of four-piece California rock band Low Millions, whose album Ex-Girlfriends referenced some real life former squeezes among its songs.
“‘Low Millions’ was not a misstep but a delay to me getting down to uncovering my true and unique voice. When you’re on the road in a rock band, sharing confined space, drinking and frolicking and piquing the interest of the opposite sex, there is a cameradie like no other. We toured the world for two years, had hits and made tons of money. It was wonderful, a rite of passage and the final phase in my true education in music.”
One more diversionary project followed, the French-language album Mélancolista featuring the occasional vocal assistance of the actress Virginie Ledoyen. And then, in the loving tongue that is Spanish, occurred those few minutes
"Die zehn zarten Songs voller Fingerpicking-Gitarren, leisen Chören
und echten Gefühlen sind somit gar als Fortführung des Werkes seines
Vaters zu verstehen." (Audio, November 2011)
,, ... Dass es dabei um Liebe, Romantik, Verlust oder um familiäre Beziehungen geht, überrascht wohl niemanden, und auch die Art und Weise, wie Adam Cohen diese Songs angeht, zeigt klar und deutlich, dass er den Schatten seines Vaters nicht mehr fürchtet, dass er seine Musik so veröffentlicht, wie er es für richtig hält." (Good Times, Dezember 2011 / Januar 2012)