Songs from a Room

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Leonard Cohen's first album was an unqualified triumph which announced the arrival of a bold and singular talent, and many who heard it must have wondered what Cohen could do for an encore. By comparison, Cohen's second album, 1969's Songs from a Room, was something of a letdown. While it's a fine LP, it ultimately feels neither as striking nor as assured as Songs of Leonard Cohen. Bob Johnston stepped in as producer for Songs from a Room, and his arrangements are simpler than those John Simon crafted for the debut, but they're also full of puzzling accents, such as the jew's harp that punctuates several tracks, the churchy organ line in "The Old Revolution," and the harsh ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Leonard Cohen's first album was an unqualified triumph which announced the arrival of a bold and singular talent, and many who heard it must have wondered what Cohen could do for an encore. By comparison, Cohen's second album, 1969's Songs from a Room, was something of a letdown. While it's a fine LP, it ultimately feels neither as striking nor as assured as Songs of Leonard Cohen. Bob Johnston stepped in as producer for Songs from a Room, and his arrangements are simpler than those John Simon crafted for the debut, but they're also full of puzzling accents, such as the jew's harp that punctuates several tracks, the churchy organ line in "The Old Revolution," and the harsh synthesizer flourishes on "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes." Johnston also had trouble coaxing strong vocal performances from Cohen; his singing here sounds tentative and his meter is uncertain, which regardless of how one feels about Cohen's much-debated vocal prowess is not the case with his other work. And finally, the quality of the songs on Songs from a Room is less consistent than on Songs of Leonard Cohen; as fine as "Bird on a Wire," "You Know Who I Am," "The Story of Isaac" and "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" may be, "The Butcher" and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" simply aren't up to his usual standards. Despite the album's flaws, Songs from a Room's strongest moments convey a naked intimacy and fearless emotional honesty that's every bit as powerful as the debut, and it left no doubt that Cohen was a major creative force in contemporary songwriting.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/20/1990
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074640976728
  • Catalog Number: 9767

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Leonard Cohen Primary Artist, Vocals
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Composer
Bob Johnston Producer
Neil Wilburn Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Godfather of Gloom

    Although exaggerated, LC has always been penned with the moniker "Godfather of Gloom." Probably its origins are in "Songs from a From." Nothing like "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" puts you in the mood for suicide. Even with his monontonous tone, Leonard's voice is always captivating, especially with universal classics like " Song of Issac" and "A Bird on A Wire."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Tragic Sense of Life

    Less melancholic than realistic, Cohen musical world celebrates fleeting moments with a more Grecian than Hebraic point-of-view. His sadness emerges from life, not from madness. This simple album touches life the way Albert Camus' essay Helen's Exile does.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    DYING ALONE IS DARKER THAN DEATH ITSELF

    ¿Songs from a Room¿ has an unpleasant problem since its originality is overshadowed by its strikingly magnificient predecessor(Songs of Leonard Cohen). In spite of that, this album preserves the quality which makes it one of the touchstones of Mr.Cohen¿s long & enduring career. While ¿Bird on a Wire¿, ¿The Story of Isaac¿ and ¿Seems So Long Ago, Nancy¿ are sowing the pacifying desperation, solitude & agnosticism in our late nights; ¿You Know Who I Am¿, ¿Lady Midnight¿ and ¿Tonight Will Be Fine¿ are reaping the provocating hope, alliance & determinity from our early mornings. Mr.Cohen proves us again that the mordant words can be sung in a monotonous way, without boring. ¿Songs from a Room¿ is another résumé of the intelligent & fragile people¿s hard life brougt to the hidden daylight by the singer of ¿constant sorrow¿.

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