US rock musician Sam Cohen has had fingers in all kinds of musical pies, whether that be in his own bands (Apollo Sunshine, Yellowbirds) and as a producer or session musician for the stars (Norah Jones, Shakira); it seems we are in the midst of true talent where Cohen is concerned. Since the disbandment of his former groups, Sam is going one hundred percent solo for the first time with his debut album, Cool It.
Let The Mountain Come To You has a very Beatles-meet-Bob Dylan kind of a vibe, the psychedelic atmosphere is accompanied by a very folky vocal and the guitar plays a phenomenal role in keeping you hooked; Pretty Lights is a little less energetic, but it still has substance with its airy feel and the synths are intriguing. The laid back sound continues with The Garden, it doesn’t seem to climax vocally but instrumentally your ears are glue once again; Unconditional Love is nice due to it being subtle yet heart warming concept, whereas the edgier Don’t Shoot The Messenger is more vocally out there with a bass line that is as equally in the lead as the acoustic guitar, the poetry in each lyric on this album is commendable.
The pace is picked back up with Last Dream, the constant ra-ta-ta of the drums carries the track effortlessly with the vocals being warm once again; Kepler 62 is a decent track to slowly nod your head to, the overall ambience the track delivers is bright and poetic. The acoustic guitar comes back to introduce and subtly carry A Farewell To Arms, a track that has fallen in love with synths, guitars and an easy beat to bring us some ear candy; the introduction to Midnight Conqueror sounds like something taken direct from a dream/space sequence, the vocals are phenomenally delivered. Lastly, El Dorado is brought to life with its dragging synths and lazy bass line, the overall atmosphere of the track shows a depth we were yet to have heard from the album.
There is no doubting the songwriting or producing abilities that lies within the creative brain of Sam Cohen, and it’s no wonder why many flock to work with him, his debut solo album Cool It oozes his oomph and seems to have its own personality; as described it delivers tracks that are warm, ambient, edgy and poetic. Listening to the album you can tell that every detail, every little sound, has its own purpose and has been carefully placed to make each track whole; the entire album is Sam Cohen’s baby, and within its veins flows his unique sound. We have already heard what Sam Cohen can do with a guitar and a pen over the years, but it will be interesting to see where else his solo career will go: Cool It was a great introduction.