Leonard Cohen's "Old Ideas" Finds The Legendary Singer/Songwriter in Top Form

Posted by Billyjam, February 3, 2012 08:34am | Post a Comment
As you might have noticed in the latest Out This Week Amoeblog, published here yesterday by Brad Schelden, among the list of new music releases for this week is Leonard Cohen's new album Old Ideas.  Available at Amoeba Music in both CD and LP formats it is the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter's twelfth studio album and his first album of new material in almost a decade. reviewers accurately wrote of the new release that, "Cohen returns to form in a manner that is musically reminiscent of his early classics, full of somber details sung in his trademark nearly spoken-word style over deep, atmospheric blues."

As fans of Cohen's already well know Old Ideas is Cohen's first album with new material since his well publicized 2005 declaration of bankruptcy following his ex-manager's embezzlement in which he allegedly cleared out all of the musician's bank accounts - essentially leaving him broke. Consequently some cynics, before even hearing the new album, dismissed it - along with his recent era active touring schedule - as just another stab by the financially strapped star to get his accounts back in the black. But the reality is that Old Ideas is anything but halfhearted. Rather it's an amazing album; one that finds Cohen, who is now in his late 70's, in top form delivering songs such as "Going Home" and "The Darkness" in that trademark baritone flow of his that fans love so well. Already Old Ideas has won extremely positive feedback from longtime Cohen fans and critics alike - many comparing it to his last highly acclaimed album: 1988's I'm Your Man.

Leonard Cohen "Going Home" from Old Ideas (2012)

To judge for yourself I have included three of the new album songs here - a live version of "The Darkness" from a couple of years ago when he first unveiled it and the studio versions of the new album tracks "Going Home" and "Crazy To Love" - the latter of which I have also included the lyrics for below.  With production by Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders, and Dino Soldo Old Ideas' vocalist guests include Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, and frequent Cohen collaborators Jennifer Warnes, and The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley Webb). You can pick up vinyl and CD versions of Old Ideas at each of the three Amoeba stores (Berkeley, SF, Hollywood) as well as online where the Old Ideas CD (priced at $12.98) ships for free in the US. Note that the LP version of Old Ideas comes in 180 gram vinyl and also includes a copy of the CD. It costs $24.98 and ships for free in the US.

Leonard Cohen "Crazy To Love" from Old Ideas (2012)

Had to go crazy to love you.
Had to go down to the pit.
Had to do time in the tower
Begging my crazy to quit.
Had to go crazy to love you.
You who were never the one
Whom I chased through the souvenir heartache
Her braids and her blouse all undone

Sometimes I'd head for the highway
I'm old and the mirrors don't lie
But crazy has places to hide you
That are deeper than any goodbye
Had to go crazy to love you
Had to let everything fall
Had to be people I hated
Had to be no one at all

I’m tired of choosing desire
I've been saved by a blessed fatigue
The gates of commitment unwired
Nobody trying to leave
Sometimes I'd head for the highway
I'm old and the mirrors don't lie
But crazy has places to hide in
That are deeper than any goodbye 

(repeat first verse)

Leonard Cohen "The Darkness (live in Nashville)" (2009 preview of Old Ideas, 2012)

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