Live In London
Leonard Cohen has attained the status of elder statesman and plays the part perfectly on this live album, speaking and singing in unmatched eloquent verse and stage banter, graciously thanking his audience for keeping his songs alive and then bringing them to brilliant execution as only Leonard Cohen can. This recording from London’s 02 Arena in July 2008 spans Cohen’s entire career from his initial liftoff with the now standards “Suzanne” and “Bird On the Wire” through his later celebrated work, including the much-covered “Hallelujah,” “Everybody Knows,” “Democracy,” and “First We Take Manhattan.” With a celebrated chorus of supporting singers, a sensitive yet quite active backing band of ambitious guitars, and percolating keyboards, Cohen explores his entire canon with reverence and good humor. The audience returns the favor, cheering wildly when he sings of his “golden voice,” in acknowledgement that no singer has done more with a limited range. If anything, Cohen’s voice improved with age, the deepening of his lowest range adding an ominous, foreboding darkness to these songs of personal struggle and spiritual grace.