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Top Customer Reviews
Cohen's voice these days has passed through the Whisky & Cigarettes stage and is well on the way to a Chronic Bronchitis sound, but he still has that fabulous depth and resonance beneath the weariness and the creaks. He hovers between singing and speaking for much of this album even more than previously, but as a friend once said to me, "No one can sing a Leonard Cohen song the way Cohen himself can't." How true. He is miked very close so, particularly when listening on headphones, it really feels as though he is present and whispering into your ear.
All this is perfect for the songs here, whose lyrics are Cohen at his best: thoughtful, allusive, melancholy, witty and sometimes provoking. The religious imagery he has always used so brilliantly is well in evidence, and it is striking how much of it is now specifically Christian. Broken relationships, suffering and death have always been in the corner of Cohen's eye whatever he is writing about. They are often in plain sight here and are treated with insight, resignation, compassion and beauty. The old witty twinkle and his self-deprecatory streak are still there, though, and shine through what is often a very elegiac atmosphere.Read more ›
A friend told be to rush to hear it. He had listened to it while driving and had to stop by the side of the road: to think, to feel , to cry. I have just listened and simply cannot recall its equal. This is the essential man and the singular human. Everyone will hear the words through a different ear. It has the deepest sadness I have heard spoken to music in the modern era. " Crazy has places to hid in" and so does genius.
One review said all must be right with the world that a 77 year old man could give such a gift of brilliance. This is what words and music were meant to convey. We live close to Montreal and go to the neighborhood that Leonard lives in. I have always imagined seeing him walk down the street and , in some ways, wait for the waters to part. This is a very rare human being and this is a remarkable and touching reminder of what life can give us. If you have lived life at all, this collection of songs will change you.
I come to this album as one who knows little about Leonard Cohen and his music. I've admired both the Jeff Buckley and Brandi Carlile covers of "Hallelujah," and I remember liking the Concrete Blonde cover of "Everybody Knows" when it appeared on the PUMP UP THE VOLUME soundtrack. I know Cohen is Canadian and that he is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential singer-songwriters of our time. Despite the countless times I've read his name when reading about music over the years, I just never got around to him. Some of you may consider this an unforgivable admission of musical ignorance, while other Cohen newbies like me can take solace in the knowledge that they are not alone.
And now I see Leonard Cohen, seventy-seven years old, sitting in a black suit, black hat, and black sunglasses on his enigmatic, black-shadowed album cover at the top of the Amazon sales charts and I can't help but think "it must be time for me to get around to Leonard Cohen..."
Hearing OLD IDEAS has taught me that popping my Cohen cherry so relatively late in my musical fandom is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because apparently I have now just skimmed the surface of a true treasure trove that I can savor digging into deeply for the first time. A curse because these are treasures that could have been with me all along. I have been missing out until now but it is time to make up for lost time with Leonard.
I imagine true fans of the man will already know all about this album. They will already know that this is another great one and that it's worth the time they will put into it.Read more ›
It's a broken banjo bobbing
On the dark infested sea
It's coming for me darling
No matter where I go
Its duty is to harm me
My duty is to know
What's going on here? What is the dark sea infested with? Why is the banjo broken, menacing? How come it's after the 77 year old songwriter, intent on harming the gracious and self deprecating old fellow?
We never learn. Perhaps this is a merciful thing...
Over the course of his lifetime Cohen's ever more gravelly baritone has at times been the voice of the prophet, the muse, the lecher, the lover, the poet, the madman and oftentimes, the priest. All are represented in Old Ideas, a remarkable new collection of songs by the master.
This is a starkly existential album. It traces a thin line along the edge of an abyss. But even as it does so, it holds out the hope of redemption and the promise of restoration - a coming out of the darkness and into the light.
Darkness is one song I just can't get out of my mind. It's a taut and sinister twelve bar that's at any moment ready to snap. The tension is unbelievable:
I caught the darkness
It was drinking from your cup
I caught the darkness
Drinking from your cup
I said, "Is this contagious?"
You said, "Just drink it up."
Meanwhile Leonard finger picks insistently, Neil Larsen weaves a haunting refrain on the Hammond B3, and when Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters kick in with a vocal of urgent and barely restrained desire it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Liked many songs. He is so great. Can't go wrong here.Published 21 days ago by My Mother Was An Astrologer
One of the great artists of our time - I've been a fan since the first album. Master poet elder.Published 3 months ago by P. Nicholson
I honestly have played this album every day since I received it! I already was a big fan of Leonard Cohen and had other albums which I listened to often. Read morePublished 3 months ago by A Northwest reader
I started listening to Leonard Cohen in 1969 and am still captivated by his style. Another excellent work, if you are a fan, you will love it!Published 4 months ago by Bill