9 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Canadian poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen teamed up with producer Patrick Leonard, a man who’s previously handled the more limber rhythms of Madonna. Together, they made a soothing yet adventurous album: Cohen’s 13th studio release, Popular Problems. “Nevermind” coasts on a pulsing synth-led beat while the expected female vocal choir unexpectedly turns to an Arabic chant for peace (“salaam”). “My Oh My” adds a touch of horns. But while this expands the musical portion of Cohen’s efforts, the focus here is still on his rumbling voice (which sounds like he’s met Moses) and his lyrics (which never settle for passable when transcendent is still within reach). Cohen claims “Born in Chains” took 40 years to get right. On the opening track, Cohen turns the joke on himself. “Slow,” he admits, is how he likes most things, as if his fans hadn’t noticed. Getting it right is more important than rushing to keep pace. “A Street” turns its attention to 9/11 with a poignancy that resonates 13 years after that horrible day, with a lingering ache guiding Cohen’s continued eloquence and honesty. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Canadian poet and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen teamed up with producer Patrick Leonard, a man who’s previously handled the more limber rhythms of Madonna. Together, they made a soothing yet adventurous album: Cohen’s 13th studio release, Popular Problems. “Nevermind” coasts on a pulsing synth-led beat while the expected female vocal choir unexpectedly turns to an Arabic chant for peace (“salaam”). “My Oh My” adds a touch of horns. But while this expands the musical portion of Cohen’s efforts, the focus here is still on his rumbling voice (which sounds like he’s met Moses) and his lyrics (which never settle for passable when transcendent is still within reach). Cohen claims “Born in Chains” took 40 years to get right. On the opening track, Cohen turns the joke on himself. “Slow,” he admits, is how he likes most things, as if his fans hadn’t noticed. Getting it right is more important than rushing to keep pace. “A Street” turns its attention to 9/11 with a poignancy that resonates 13 years after that horrible day, with a lingering ache guiding Cohen’s continued eloquence and honesty. 

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
112 Ratings

112 Ratings

zipguy ,

A Gift

With just one cut to hear (Almost Like The Blues) I’m again floored at this man’s ability to weave words and music into to fabric that's beautifully dyed in truth. This is the Man... and another album from him at eighty is a gift.

The Man who loves this record ,

The Master of Song with the Golden Voice does it again

I have listened to the whole album on NPR and I must admit it is one of the greatest albums I have listened to of Cohen's and one of the best I have heard so far this year. I saw him a year ago and I was forever changed and it appears he is nowhere done to outdoing himself. I am only 21 years old, but I love Leonard Cohen and may his words live on forever! Happy Birthday Leonard and I hope to see you soon. This album is a must buy!

Oh, Hell No! ,

Worth the wait

Words fail me. At an age when most singers (if they can still sing at all) are content to sing their old favorites, Leonard is still hard at work AND creating amazing pieces of art. This album is stunning. When he does leave us (and I hope that his departure is a hell of a long time away), we will not see his like again. Enjoy this wonderful work of art.

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