This album is designed to capture Danny Cohen's commentary on "worldwide,
local and personal tragedies" from his college years to the present - which
presumably covers a lot of history as he's been active in the music industry for
over 40 years.
The philosophical messages on the cheerfully-named We're All Gunna Die
are delivered through a pitchy, mid-range voice, thinly layered instrumentation
and poetic lyrics. There are 16 songs in 58 minutes, for an average of
just 3.5 minutes each, and no two songs are alike. Most are led by vocals
and acoustic guitar, putting a strong focus on the lyrics. Think of it as
artsy-folk music enriched by the inclusion of 9 guest artists and a variety of
instruments including Hammond, Omnichord, lap steel, harmonica, Chinese double
bass, accordion, Mellotron , horns, toy piano, slide whistle, violin and French
horn. There are occasional instrumental passages, like the closing section
at the end of the eclectic "Tanna Leaf Orgies (of the Living Dead)", but don't
expect any heavily textured walls of sound. This is folk, not progressive
music, and each instrument is given plenty of room to breathe and is pushed
sufficiently far back in the mix to grant primary focus to Cohen's love-em or
hate-em vocals with the its "moo"-like vocal effect in "Cows" and the overtly
cynical tone in most songs.
In a biographical note - Danny Cohen has been making music since 1961, and a
low (or high?) point of his early career was - according to "All Music guide"
his being banned from performing the L.A. club circuit after his cult following
purportedly smeared feces all over one venue's bathrooms, inspired by Cohen's
chocolate pudding stage antics during a number called "Disco Diarrhea"
It is possible that We're All Gunna Die will have more appeal to fans
of 1960s philosophy and poetry that to the garden-variety music fan. The
subjects addressed in the songs range from a near death experience, the death of
the '60s. death by voodoo, and there's a child abduction / murder parody. There's isn't a positive or upbeat song on the CD, although there are moments of
wryly humorous parody.
Is Cohen the visionary, musician, painter, writer, traveler and philosopher,
he's portrayed to be?
Or is he just a pretentious and over-the-top, remnant of the '60s?
You will have to be the judge. Either way, it's an interesting and
somewhat unusual CD.
1. As I Looked Down
2. Among The Cows
3. Pamela Rodgers
4. Caffeine & Sunlight
5. Film Noir
6. (Tongue-tied in) Quicksand
8. Cousin Guy
9. Funeral In New Orleans
10.Ghost Country Safari
11.World of Holograms
13.Tanna Leaf Orgies (of the Living Dead)
14.Coffee Is Evil
16.We're All Gunna Die