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197) Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man

I am aware of Leonard Cohen but all I know is he went into a monastery and that he wrote Hallelujah oh and sadly he is no longer with us. The only songs I had ever heard by him were the two songs on the excellent Natural Born Killers soundtrack so a request to review one of his records is interesting for someone who does not really know this legendary figure.

 

I must do the usual read on the internet to find out this was his first album in three years and was his eighth solo record, love the cover of him just eating a banana, very cool.

 

Seemingly this was the record where Cohen updated his sound with synths and drum patterns. There are only eight songs on this record but as we enter the sound of First, We Take Manhattan, Cohen’s voice fits perfectly, love the subtle laugh, as we go into a song about terrorism and his female singers (including Jennifer Warnes) take the lead in several places. I wasn’t sure I was going to like this record, but I cannot fault the opening track.

 

Ain’t No Cure for Love stays on just the right side of very clever and Everybody Knows repeats these two words on nearly every line “From the bloody cross on top to Calvary to the beach of Malibu, everybody knows it’s coming apart.”  I’ve always been into the music but just exquisite lyrics.

 

The title track is a slow meandering song “if you want a boxer, I will step into the ring for you” as Cohen seems to be pleading to prove himself to his love, not sure if it falls on deaf ears. Take This Waltz the violin is used to enhance and sweep us along, I could keep quoting lyrics, but I won’t, but they are well worth your time.

 

Jazz Police is not for me, but the album ends on a high with Tower of Song which introduces a piano about a minute in that I wasn’t expecting but loved and throughout all the songs the female backing singers have excelled.

 

What an unexpected delight  

 

8/10

 

GIVE IT A STREAM: First We Take Manhattan

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