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Daughters and sons of rock
March 1999

The past year has seen the publication of a number of CDs by daughters and sons of established rock musicians. The kids are about to take over, one might say.

I would like to draw your attention to five CDs all of which I find quite remarkable, because they demonstrate that kids do not necessarily copy their fathers' success formula but are able to go their own way.

Adam Cohen's CD presents an interesting mixture of musical styles enriched with lyrics of high quality. Cohen knows the roots of rock as much as he is able to mix them to a very personal brew of sounds perfectly in harmony with their lyrics.

Sean Lennon's CD "Into the sun" feels like the work of a playful person who knows well that the best music may see the light when one feels happy and relaxed. The vocal arrangements are of high quality and it's simply fun to listen to the songs which come along like little patches of a greater picture still unknown.

Chris Stills' "100 year thing" is probably the one CD which comes closest to the music of the father. Stills is an excellent guitar player with roots in blues and rock. He seems to feel comfortable in the context of these roots.

Emma Townsend's "Winterland" is definitely something different. This is music full of connections to jazz and folk, and there's hardly any rock-tune on the CD. Her voice expresses different modes and layers of emotion exquisitely.

Rufus Wainwright's CD is a surprise, simply because I hadn't expected the son of Loudon Wainwright III to collaborate with Van Dyke Parks and Lenny Waronker and come up with a set of songs so traditional in their melodies and arrangements that I thought this can't be a guy of 20+ years of age. This CD takes a bit of time to get familiar with, but once that has happened, it's simply a beauty.

Well, I wonder whether we will get more from others in the near future. It would be fun to find out how they have developed their own approach to contemporary popular music. Until then, I will certainly enjoy the stuff mentioned here.

Copyright © by Eberhard Wenzel, 1997-2001