Luck Man doesn't suck, man. Sorry, I didn't have anything better than that.Sinderlyn, 2017
7.8 / 10
Whether he’s cranking out psych rock with The Fresh & Onlys or mellowing things out adult-contempo style in Magic Trick, Tim Cohen is a musician who follows his own path and follows it quite often. He’s determined to not let any idea or “bit of wisdom” to slip away. “I don’t possess the wisdom for longer than it takes to make a song. I inherit it momentarily, write it down, attach a melody that fits the words in rhythm, and then record it,” says Cohen about his writing process. Sounds like Twitter with musical accompaniment. Thankfully, his description of “wisdom” doesn’t come off as an exaggeration as the songs behind Cohen’s latest Luck Man are quite sharp.
It’s almost hard not to expect any solo album to recycle tired clichés that maybe its creator felt were too personal for his main projects. However, this isn’t Cohen’s first solo release, and he’s not the typical musician to get hung up on love or pain. Rather he allows Luck Man’s songs to come alive with its own characters and stories, which allows each one to stand apart in its own way. The most immediate grabber is “Meat Is Murder”, where Cohen’s sleepy (maybe defeated) growl sings over this haunting, determined riff. The music paints the idea that its character is ready to go to war over his conviction. “I Need A Wife”, disarming with its sad but sweet titular sentiment, seems to be a touching declaration before being realized in an epic burst as a desperate desire. The shift in tone makes the song remarkable.
Moments like these shape all the songs on Luck Man. There’s the backup singers and humorous baritone “like a brother/ like a, like a brother” on “Clouds”, the echo-y reverb behind “Shine”, and the cynical wit of “Breathe and Die”. The only thing barring this release from greater attention is its DIY style. It may not have the biggest production values, and Cohen’s voice may not be Josh Tillman’s, but it’s a damn strong album that you’d be lucky to have in your life.