You Want It Darker (CD)


Leonard Cohen

CD
Buy
$15.98
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Also available in: Vinyl LP

Amoeba Review

10/19/2016

It’s not a stretch to say Leonard Cohen is facing his mortality on You Want it Darker. “If you are the dealer, I’m out of the game,” the 82-year-old singer/songwriter intones through his throaty spoken word delivery on the title track, adding, over church-choir backups and stately organ, “I’m ready, my lord.” But Cohen’s 14th studio album and follow-up to 2014’s Popular Problems is not an overly dour or mournful listen. Rather, it’s a soulful exploration of life and death. The orchestration is classy and unfussy, but by no means boring, perfectly setting up with grace and militaristic precision Cohen’s analogy of a lovers’ fight as a literal battle — “I wish there was a treaty we could sign, I do not care who takes this bloody hill,” he says wearily on “Treaty.” Quavering gospel vocals and dusty steel pedal and country-ballad guitars enliven “On That Level” and “Leaving the Table,” respectively. The effect of the music still feels like a streetlamp lighting up a dark European city corner at night, as Cohen takes a simple phrase, like “I guess I’m just somebody who has given up on the me and you,” and makes it into noir magic, over whispery female vocals, languid strings, and Italian fingerpicking on “Travelling Light.” It’s hard not to compare it to his contemporary David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, in the way it unflinchingly faces the great beyond while still flowing with ideas and life. If it truly is Cohen’s last album, as he has hinted, he’s gone out on a breathtaking note with You Want it Darker.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
You Want It Darker
Leonard Cohen 04:44
2.
Treaty
Leonard Cohen 04:02
3.
On The Level
Leonard Cohen 03:27
4.
Leaving The Table
Leonard Cohen 03:47
5.
If I Didn't Have Your Love
Leonard Cohen 03:35
6.
Traveling Light
Leonard Cohen 04:22
7.
It Seemed The Better Way
Leonard Cohen 04:21
8.
Steer Your Way
Leonard Cohen 04:23
9.
String Reprise / Treaty
Leonard Cohen 03:26

CD
Buy
$15.98
SHIPS FREE in U.S.
Also available in: LP
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