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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Master class

Dim the lights,pour yourself some Scotch and enjoy the solitude with Leonard Cohen's latest album,Old Ideas.

Written by Somya Lakhani | Published: March 31, 2012 12:10:51 am

* Old Ideas

* Leonard Cohen

* Sony

* Rs 499

* Rating: ****

Dim the lights,pour yourself some Scotch and enjoy the solitude with Leonard Cohen’s latest album,Old Ideas. Whether you have been following the legendary Canadian musician/poet’s works since the 1970s,or you have just acquainted yourself with the depth of his words,it is almost impossible to be immune to the 77-year-old’s brand of music.

This 10-track album deals with the old themes of love,lust,passion,pain,regret and depression. The voice is gorgeous as ever; heartbreaking,natural and stirring and the album gets its own unique identity. “I love to speak with Leonard/he’s a sportsman and a shepherd/ he’s a lazy bastard living in a suit,” he sings in the first track,Going home. It’s a cynical,third person,slow and melodic track with the voice of Diana Glover entering the song like a shadowy cloud. The lyrics are a clear winner. Take Anyhow,for instance: “Dreamed about you baby/you were wearing half your dress/ I know you hate me/but could you hate me less?” It’s simple,recited to the sound of the piano,but evocative.

Cohen uses cynicism and self-mockery best in Darkness. It’s cheeky and sly and the baritone is unabashedly sexy. It’s a song you can dance to,with an ex-lover,for a tease. Lullaby is an easy song,with some really simple and pleasing guitar work and lyrics that go: “Well the mouse ate the crumb/ then the cat ate the crust/now they’ve fallen in love/they’re talking in tongues.” There is Crazy to love you,with the old Cohen feel to it,but my personal favourite is the last song,Different sides. It’s less dark,with some addictive piano and percussion.

Just listening to Cohen is an experience in itself. Even if you haven’t watched him perform live,you know he probably keeps the microphone close to his lips,you can smell the cigarettes on his fingers and you can hear every breath as clearly as possible. Cohen is not just another musician who is in the business of music; he is a poet,a man of words and feelings. His songs make you nostalgic; it takes you to a place in your head you thought you had already cleared. Old Ideas,released after seven years,is probably not Cohen’s best,but his lyrics are on their mark again. A must-have for his fans.

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