The road to hell is paved with the records of pop stars’ offspring, from Julian Lennon to I Blame Coco. Adam Cohen has the advantage of at least knowing what he’s doing: his fifth album of unshowy singer-songwriter fare occupies similarly confessional territory to that marked out by his father, Leonard. Indeed, Cohenologists will find much to pore over here, as his lyrics frequently address that relationship, and at times appear to be explicitly encouraging comparisons, not least on Fall Apart (“You’ll be hearing his voice, like you’re hearing it now”). It’s a disarmingly bold move, but while We Go Home is an undeniably fine record, it’s not quite good enough to escape Dad’s long shadow.
As the son of the inimitable Leonard Cohen, Adam Cohen’s fourth album is perhaps his most honestly titled. Like a Man comes across as a frank and humbling admission that Cohen Senior is genuinely incomparable, but only insofar as his son is forever destined to merely be somewhat like the person his father offered us with his seminal 1988 album I’m Your Man. While Adam rounds and smoothes out the ragged and unglamorous quality of his father’s voice, comparisons are inevitable. While pleasant to listen to, and destined to be a make-out, slow-grind album for some couples, Like a Man is unfortunately too influenced by the sappy, clichéd singer-songwriters of Adam’s generation. Listening to it only makes you long for the original.