Marc Cohn

The first three tracks on Marc Cohn’s debut album — the gospel-tinged top 20 single ”Walking in Memphis,” the subtly chugging rocker ”Ghost Train,” and the snazzy ’50s homage ”Silver Thunderbird” — show so much musical flair that if the album stopped there he’d easily be the most appealing pop singer-songwriter to hit the faded-Levi’s circuit since Bruce Hornsby. But with more eloquent types like Van Morrison and James Taylor apparently in his sights, Cohn soon shifts into a more self- conscious poet-balladeer mode on Marc Cohn, full of sensitive piano backgrounds, lyrics that bring up existential questions only to dispatch them with a disarming shrug, and an automotive metaphor or two (”Baby maybe that’s all/We really are/Strangers in a car”). Then come the relationship songs — ”True Companion,” ”Perfect Love,” ”Dig Down Deep” — that are by and large as grimly earnest as their titles. Musically, he’s got an attractively light touch; over time, hopefully, he’ll develop the lyrics to match. B-

Marc Cohn
  • Music