CD Cover Koan

Review by Dorothy Parvaz

Koan (ko-wan) n. 1 Literally, "public document"; a topic or riddle issued to those training in the Rinzai Zen school of Buddhism to contemplate while meditating in yogic postures. 2 Pseudo-spiritual Vancouver musician, player of jangly, Nick Drake-esque guitar, possessed of an engaging voice with a tendency to write irrepressibly sappy lyrics.
What, that doesn't say it all? Alright.

Koan, his philosophies and his curious little disc come at you from a 4-track and 8-track machine somewhere in Burnaby. The album has a pretty, dreamy sound (with "Sleepless" and "I'd Believe" are two of the best songs Dromedary has to offer), and the one thing that saves the CD from being an Ipecac substitute is a 50's sort of teen-idol crooner vibe.

But after a few songs, the charm might start to wear a little thin, on account of Koan spreading his sensitive, spiritual trip on a little too thick. He just tries a little too hard. (That said, after Master P -- the last disc I reviewed -- I'd have to say that aiming to be the Mystic Man of the Orient sure beats the crap out of overdoing the I've Got the Biggest Dick in the Hood bit.)

If you get the chance, go see him perform. Oh, and maybe you could drop me a line to let me know where he'll be playing? I'm intrigued.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on December 5, 1998

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