New Music: You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen

Here’s the very first of a few a new albums I’m looking forward to at the tail end of this year. I did my Cohen Top Tens’ albums at the start of this month and express my hope, wish this new one on the way would be just little better than the last two or even three and now after a weekend of listening I’ve got to write about it. If I would to re-write that ten of my fave Leo’s albums now this one would go straight into number five spot now, maybe it’s a little too soon it say that but it’s that great. It couldn’t be any better really, you could not hope/wish for anything more from a new Lenny album! It’s got to be rated five out of five or 5/5. 

The new album called You Want It Darker is his 21st Century masterpiece, his last two Popular Problems (2014) from two years ago then Old Ideas (2012) from four years were pretty good comeback records and tours around the same times was epic too but before that was Dear Heather (2004) which I would say is the most disappointing of his albums ever, before that was his album title Ten New Songs (2001) was pretty great too. I guess that’s why he saying things like “I’m already to die now.” I really hope not but seeing this new one as a later work by one of the greatest songwriter ever, now at 82 old/young he’s thinking about the end. Backtracking after a few days , his little note inside this album seems like it was a really hard one to make and we are even very lucky by the sounds of it to have it. His son Adam Cohen helping him out to finish it, in the note saying “there would be no record.” He starting the album with the same producer/co-songwriter Patrick Leonard of his last two records but it was abandoned after over a year of work, his son took over the project at some point and made it to the end of it, what we now have to listen too. Cohen’s last totally really great, great, great album was in the 90’s with The Future (1992), the new You Want It Darker is that great which The Future is my all-time favorite Cohen album if you didn’t look at my ten. I can’t say more nice things about this album, it’s unbelievable great. Could it even better than his early albums? Maybe it’s a bit pointless to say that, that’s an artist starting out then and now, well I hope he lives to a hundred and something but if he never makes another album this is a perfect way to finish his recording artist career.

Over the eight/nine track listing there really is not one moment wasted here, then revisiting/reprising the early track on the the last song with just strings it amazing way to finish the album off. It’s bring it all back to the start again, I just want or just did hit play again, again, again, again and again etc. after it the last track. The title song is the opener and was released about a month or so ago too. Wonderful intro track and pretty much sets up the rest the album, the producing is less glossy and/or sleek that the last two albums and off course darker too but it just had to be. The lyrics are so much more like that, the album cover art are clues here too and he’s smoking both on the front and the back. I really think of the last album with the artist smoking in both the images of them in the art work of an album, can you? It’s not the done think anymore but Cohen is from another generations really. After clearing his shoes in his underpants inside the last record with white, red, blue and yellow on the cover and then before that was him sitting on the front lawn with greens, reds and the dark shadow plus he’s writing in his notebook, inside the album you see inside the notebook. This time it’s those two photos and then all black and white and then grey’s.

I don’t think there is not one wasted word in his lyrics here too. Second song and the one which return at the end, Treaty‘s chorus is “I wish there was a treaty we could sign, I do not care who takes this bloody hill, I’m angry and I’m tired all the time, I wish there was a treaty, I wish there was a treaty, Between your love and mine.” I can’t possible just keep quoting his lyric sheet so just go and listen listen to the album now, it’s everything you want from a Leonard Cohen album, well it’s everything I want from one but how about you?


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