#133 Marc Cohn – Burning The Daze (1998)

Marc Cohn released his debut album “Marc Cohn” in 1991, he was 32 years old. It was a beautifully written, thoughtful, near perfect release. “Walking In Memphis” was a huge hit and won the Grammy for Best New Artist. At age 33 he was an “overnight” sensation. As is the record business’ way, he was rushed into the studio to get a follow-up on the streets as quickly as possible and was releasing “The Rainy Season” in the spring of 1993. Although it was not near as commercially successful as his eponymous debut, it was not a huge flop. It would be 5 years before we would hear from him again. Then in 1998 came “Burning The Daze” and a rush of happiness for myself as finally I had some new Marc Cohn music since I practically burned out his first 2 discs from overuse! Although it would be perceived as a commercial bust, reaching just #114 on the charts, it was consistent with the thoughtful introspective material from his previous releases. It is just my opinion, but I think it was during this 5 year hiatus where Mark made a decision to just make music for himself and not get caught up in trying to be a star or trying to repeat the success of Walking In Memphis. The first track on the record “Already Home” was the only real attempt at a “radio friendly” song. Other high points on this disc are “Girl of Mysterious Sorrow”, “Olana” and “Providence”. Marc also recorded a cover of Harry Nilsson’s “Turn On Your Radio” and although I am usually a big fan of cover songs and also of Harry Nilsson, this one is not what I would have picked and falls short of the rest of the albums high standards.Most of what is here is not what would be considered singles material but that is not Marc Cohn’s game. He is the consummate singer/songwriter. If there is one drawback to this album, that holds it back from other Cohn releases, it would be that there seems to be less piano driven/written songs. For some reason piano players envision themselves at some point as guitar players, I’ve seen it before and still don’t understand it. Marc Cohn’s strength is that he is a fantastic piano player who writes beautiful, mature lyrics and music. When he gets behind the piano and does “Healing Hands” and “Saints Preserve Us” it is some of the high-water marks of this effort. unfortunately for us fans of Marc it would be 9 more years before we would have another studio album from him.

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