CD Review: Leonard Cohen

(leonardcohen.com)

Leonard Cohen
Old Songs
Columbia
By David Chiu

Leonard Cohen’s reemergence in music that began with his tour was one of music’s most pleasant comebacks in recent years. (If the legendary Canadian poet ever goes back on the road, you must definitely see him). The creative roll continues with the Old Ideas, his first new album of original material since 2004’s Dear Heather. It is somewhat of an apt title, because the music on this record sounds more organic harkening back to some of the old records, than the programming that marked his last couple of albums. What hasn’t changed with Cohen on this strong effort are his distinctive sonorous talk-singing and impressionistic lyrics conveying themes such as mortality and romance: both the country/Southern Gothic tones of “Amen” and the lovely gospel-influenced “Show Me the Placsmoldering romantic; “Darkness,” with its Dylanesque bluesy grooves, is a sexy-sounding track; the soulful “Lullaby” provides some comfort while “Coming Healing” is very prayer-like. The lovely female background singing—especially on “Come Healing” provides lush and airy counterpoint to Cohen’s weary worldview. Old Ideas is evidence that Cohen’s words still touches the nerve and the soul.

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