CD Review: Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen
Songs From the Road
Columbia/Legacy
By David Chiu

A worthy sequel to the recent Live in London, Songs from the Road is a live document of Leonard Cohen’s concerts from 2008-2009. If you were fortunate to have been at the shows, you can immediately recognize how great Cohen and his band sounded marked by first class, elegant playing, arrangements, and Cohen’s weathered vocals. A couple of the tracks from this new set includes songs that were not on the Live in London release: the rhythmic Middle Eastern feel of “Lover, Lover, Lover,” which was appropriately recorded in Tel Aviv; the soulful “Bird on the Wire” from Glasgow; the melancholy “Chelsea Hotel” rendered in a more gospel arrangement; and the folky, Euro feel of “The Partisan.” The rendition of Hallelujah at Coachella festival last year still resonates with feeling to the appreciative young audience. The DVD features the performances of those CD’s songs from those dates as well as a 21-minute backstage film directed by daughter Lorca Cohen. Songs From the Road is an exceptional release of Cohen’s still being masterful as a live performer.

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