Old Ideas

( 7 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While it's not normally a quality one associates with Leonard Cohen, he's always possessed a droll, self-effacing sense of humor. He expresses it on the opening track of Old Ideas in the third person: "I love to speak with Leonard/He's a sportsman and a shepherd/He's a lazy bastard/Living in a suit...." Have no fear, however, Cohen's topical standards, on yearning, struggle, spirituality, love, loss, lust, and mortality are all in abundance here, offered with a poet's insight. It is among Cohen's most spiritual recordings because it brings all of his familiar topics into the fold with a graceful acceptance. He's surrounded by friends on Old Ideas. Patrick Leonard, Dino ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While it's not normally a quality one associates with Leonard Cohen, he's always possessed a droll, self-effacing sense of humor. He expresses it on the opening track of Old Ideas in the third person: "I love to speak with Leonard/He's a sportsman and a shepherd/He's a lazy bastard/Living in a suit...." Have no fear, however, Cohen's topical standards, on yearning, struggle, spirituality, love, loss, lust, and mortality are all in abundance here, offered with a poet's insight. It is among Cohen's most spiritual recordings because it brings all of his familiar topics into the fold with a graceful acceptance. He's surrounded by friends on Old Ideas. Patrick Leonard, Dino Soldo, and Anjani Thomas get production and co-writing credits. Sharon Robinson, Dana Glover, Jennifer Warnes, and the Webb Sisters all appear on backing vocals. Cohen mixes up the musical forms far more than he has in the past. The loungey electronic keyboards on "Going Home" are balanced by Glover's female backing chorale, an acoustic piano, and Bela Santelli's violin. The sly, minor-key Gypsy jazz groove on "Amen" is played by a banjo, violin, and Cohen's guitar; it tempers his searing lyric, which posits the notion that the totality of love, divine or otherwise, can only truly be achieved when the object of desire has seen his worst, metaphorically and literally. "Show Me the Place" finds Cohen once again adopting the Protestant hymnal as stirringly as he did on "Halleluja" -- albeit more quietly -- and wedding it to his simple, direct melodic sensibility. The song is a prayer, not for redemption, but to go ever deeper into the cloud of spiritual unknowing before his demise, to discover the terrain where suffering itself is birthed. Warnes' gorgeous backing vocals, piano, guitar, and violin accompany his beneath-the-basement, cracked-leather baritone in delivering the song with conviction and vulnerability. Cohen's live band joins him on "Darkness," where he evokes, musically, his love of both late-'40s R&B and gospel, even as he frankly discusses his own -- and everyone's -- entrance into the big goodnight. He also revisits the spartan sound of his early career with "Crazy to Love You," written with Thomas, on which his only accompaniment is his acoustic guitar. Here, he wrestles with an unwanted but nonetheless nagging attachment to erotic desire. "Come Healing" is another hymn, with Glover's vocals, church organ, violin, and Cohen's croaking, old-man-in-the-pew vocal; he sings with reverence: "O see the darkness yielding/That tore the light apart/Come healing of the reason/Come healing of the heart...." "Banjo" is a country-blues that gives the songwriter a chance to indulge his love for Hank Williams while reflecting on Hurricane Katrina as Soldo's New Orleans-inspired horns add a haunted effect to the tune. Cohen speaks not only for himself, but the ghosts of restless spirits wandering in his vision. "Lullabye"'s lyrics, accompanied by a high lonesome harmonica and a whispering jazz organ, counterintuitively offer a gentle comfort to the disconsolate. "Different Sides," with its slow, loopy groove, is a shuffle that addresses unresolved conflict in lust and law spiritual and carnal, bringing Old Ideas to a close with an ironic tension. Cohen meets conflict head-on and accepts it for what it is -- you can almost see him simultaneously singing sincerely while slyly winking an eye. Old Ideas is a very good Cohen album; it may be even be a great one; but that doesn't matter in the present. What does is that it bears listening to, over and over and over again.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/31/2012
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886979867123
  • Catalog Number: 798671
  • Sales rank: 10,450

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Going Home (3:51)
  2. 2 Amen (7:35)
  3. 3 Show Me the Place (4:09)
  4. 4 Darkness (4:29)
  5. 5 Anyhow (3:08)
  6. 6 Crazy To Love You (3:05)
  7. 7 Come Healing (2:52)
  8. 8 Banjo (3:22)
  9. 9 Lullaby (4:45)
  10. 10 Different Sides (4:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Cohen Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Jennifer Warnes Vocals
Ed Sanders Guitar, Vocals
Roscoe Beck Bass, Musical Direction
Neil Larsen Percussion, Piano, Cornet, Keyboards, Synthesizer Bass, Hammond B3
Patrick Leonard Musician
Bob Metzger Guitar
Dino Soldo Horn, Musician
Chris Wabich Drums
Dana Glover Vocals
Jordan Charnofsky Guitar
Webb Sisters Vocals
Hattie Webb Vocals
Charley Webb Vocals
Sharon Robinson Vocals, Synthesizer Bass
Rafael Bernardo Gayol Drums
Bela Santelli Violin
Robert "OBM" Koda Violin
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Arranger, Composer, Programming, Cover Design, Drawing
Jennifer Warnes Arranger
Ed Sanders Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Patrick Leonard Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer, Engineer
Doug Sax Mastering
Dino Soldo Producer, Engineer
Anjani Composer, Producer
Leanne Ungar Engineer
Michelle Rice Management
Mark Vreeken Engineer
Robert Hadley Mastering
Dana Glover Arranger
Michael Petit Booklet Design
Webb Sisters Arranger
Robert Kory Management
Sharon Robinson Arranger
Jesse String Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 8, 2012

    brilliant.

    As a young adult in a generation cluttered with white noise, it's a pleasure to have someone like Mr. Cohen still writing and recording... keeping the tradition of lounge-room lullabies alive. As I listen to this new cd, I imagine his voice as a cowboy telling a story over beautiful melodies of various instruments and background singers. Such a treat to have such a unique artist still putting all his effort towards his love of music. Thanks, Cohen.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2012

    Worse ever. Do not buy

    Much of the album is talking. Sounds like funeral music

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews