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Ten New Songs

Leonard CohenAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

Price: $7.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2012 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2001 $7.29  
Vinyl, Import, 2009 $33.83  
Audio Cassette, 2001 --  

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For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Cohen Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005Q45W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,790 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In My Secret Life
2. A Thousand Kisses Deep
3. That Don't Make It Junk
4. Here It Is
5. Love Itself
6. By The Rivers Dark
7. Alexandra Leaving
8. You Have Loved Enough
9. Boogie Street
10. The Land Of Plenty

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Where has Leonard Cohen been for the past nine years? The legendary songwriter's mostly been in a Zen monastery, it turns out, obsessively rewriting and polishing the oblique, lapidary lyrics for this austere collection. Ten New Songs is arguably Sharon Robinson's record as much as Cohen's--she cowrote all the songs, plays most of the instruments (primarily a synth that seems to have freshly emerged from a chintzy 1984 power ballad), and accompanies Cohen's gloomy croak with her own crooning. This is the most subdued album Cohen's ever made, which is saying something. It's as if he no longer has time for anything in music or performance that could alter the meaning and force of his words. --Douglas Wolk

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FROM THE LATEST HIT TO THE WISDOM OF THE OLD October 10, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
In terms of production and instrumentation, Leonard Cohen retired to Florida 20 years ago. I'M YOUR MAN was a truely great album despite suffering from synth abuse. THE FUTURE had the same malady, but once again the outstanding quality of the songs saved the proceedings. 10 NEW SONGS breaks no new ground in terms of cheesy prodution and yet once again, the lyrics play hero to yet another damsel in distress.

Sure, he whispers and croaks in septagenarian mockery of Barry White. But lyrically Cohen's sharp as ever, and that's how one should approach this album. It's basically a slim volume of new poems with obligatory musical accompaniment. Armed with lines like "I fought against the bottle but I had to do it drunk" he still hits the weary mark of the heart. Sentiments like " Love went on and on /until It reached an open door" don't hurt either.

Suffice it to say I'm a fan. Though I generally find solace in the dark acoustic majesty of SONGS OF LOVE & HATE, Time goes to show that you can't keep that kind of intensity up forever. The presence of Sharon Robinson is also a welcome replacement to the chorus of tipsy Baccanals Cohen has utilized in recent years. Her souful croon goes to show less is truely more. When she sings, "You kiss my lips and then it's done" a title like BOOGIE STREET takes on a much more ominous meaning---and the old CHELSEA HOTEL Cohen shines on through.

Stand out tracks for me are IN MY SECRET LIFE, THAT DON'T MAKE IT JUNK & BOOGIE STREET. Though there's no surpises, I can't say I'm disappointed. 10 NEW SONGS is just another remarkable page in the forgiving, loving voice Cohen found in THE FUTURE.
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136 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cohen enters a new world of simplicity and poetry. October 9, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I have been a Leonard Cohen fan for some time now, and allow me to say - this collection of songs may be some of his best. From the title you notice a new plain simplicity. It's no secret that Cohen has been living in "isolation" for the past several years and you get a sense of his new enlightenment.
Gone are the many references to God. Enter an almost subdued album full of pain, anxiety, and Love (of course). Gone are those few back-up singers that could test the ear. Enter one voice that blends well with Mr.Cohen's. One thing that seems to be most constant in Cohen's albums is the infamous drum machine. Well, it's here again. Most of these songs are "slow" and it turns out to be great back-round, rainy day, and late night music. Some stand out tracks would be:
The first - "In my Secret Life". Classic Cohen here. Let's be honest folks, we don't buy his albums for the music - we buy it for the lyrics. He attempts to paint vivid pictures, and we succumb.
My personal favourite "By the River Dark" is an amazing trancing hypnotizing dark song. One of his best in a very long time. You'll want to keep listening to it over and over again.
Well thanks, for reading this. 5 stars for lyrics, 5 stars for Cohen's deep broken voice. Cheers.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Stripped down to its essentials, this album of "Ten New Songs" shows Leonard Cohen at his most austere and brilliant, with work that shines brightly as poems set to simple melodies, but which do not always succeed as music.
Overall, however, there is little not to like here. Although I loved the background vocals of Perla Batella on Cohen's earlier records, Sharon Robinson does a great job of crooning harmonies with the monotoned artist, and her production of these tunes is nothing short of magnificent. The whole thing has a rich, full, disciplined yet leisurely sound that manages to seem precise and somehow loose at the same time.

Some have criticized the instrumentation and singing on this album, but such carping really is unjustified. After all, no one listens to Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt for the quality of their croaking out lyrics or the tunes they play. It is the words that matter, and on "Ten New Songs" Cohen proves that he is easily in their league as a writer. And it is oddly appropriate that these tracks are very different from the almost weird optimism of "Closing Time" and "Democracy" on "The Future" when it was released in 1992. Nine years later and into the 21st century, Cohen appears to be in a more reflective mood. The change is indeed welcome. Especially under the current circumstances, with the nation now at war and in a recession, a bit of thoughtful perspective is not only instructive but a relief as well. As the man says, "May the lights in the land of plenty shine on the truth someday.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jarring note that I need April 8, 2002
Format:Audio CD
My other favorite Leonard Cohen record is The Death of A Ladies Man, which is a very different cd in every way. Or at least in every way but the one that really matters, which is Leonard Cohen's plain spoken voice singing those startling words with such rich melodies.
This cd is as simple and stripped down sounding as any contemporary cd I own. It might as well have been an acoustic guitar solo record but instead Cohen chose the cheapest , most obvious Radio Shack keyboard sound you can imagine. And I'm sure this will put some people off this cd but I believe the reason he did it was to speak in the most mundane, common language while speaking in the most elevated, trancendental language.
Throughout the cd, his voice is echoed by Sharon Robinson, his producer, who adds a dry, simple harmonic richness that rubs up against Cohen's typical dry rasp. I find this perfect, though I'm sure there will be those who don't. It is reminiscent to me of The Death of A Ladies Man in the bold simplicity of the production, though 10 New Songs is much more of a stripped down feeling.
You will never hear songs from anyone else like By the Rivers Dark or, especially, Alexandra Leaving. I don't know how to do a comparison here, because I don't believe anyone else has written songs that are even similar. How many artists can you say that about?
Finally, the album ends with what strikes a jarring note in our current atmosphere of patriotism, and I'm very sure that he meant it to. The last song, The Land of Plenty, is like a prayer for truth in an atmosphere of propaganda. "May the lights in the land of plenty shine on the truth someday." I don't even know that I agree with this, but I do know that no one else is really saying anything like it with sincerity and genuine hope. And thats why I need to hear Leonard Cohen's not so perfect voice.
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