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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Leonard Cohen

MUSIC REVIEWS

Leonard Cohen-More Best Of Leonard Cohen (Columbia)

It's twenty-two years since brilliant novelist/boho/rock god Leonard Cohen released a compilation. So this is long past due. Frankly, though it is mostly fantastic, this really doesn't do Cohen's legacy justice.

Probably because of the limited scope of the disk four songs from each of Cohen's last two studio albums, three live recordings of older material and two pretty inconsequential unreleased tracks. In fact, "The Great Event" is just 60 seconds of "The Moonlight Sonata" played backwards!

Luckily, the first of those studio albums, 1988's I'm Your Man, is as close to perfection as Cohen has come. The eerie tale of obsessive jealousy, "Everybody Knows," can give you chills, while "I'm Your Man" has Cohen going against type by seeming like an old romantic softy.

I just have to wonder what an amazing two disk set this would be if they mined a little deeper into Cohen's past. Also, while all four songs from I'm Your Man are definitely worthy of being here, there is no excuse for ignoring that album's "First We Take Manhattan." (12/97)

Jay S. Jacobs

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Copyright 1995-1997 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved.
Revised: August 05, 2015.

 

Various Artists-Tower of Song - The Songs of Leonard Cohen (A&M)

Leonard Cohen is one of the most brilliant songwriters out there, but his gruff vocals have probably kept him from getting a wide audience. This makes it fascinating to see what other artists can do with his work.

Actually, this is the third Cohen tribute album, following Jennifer Warnes' Famous Blue Raincoat and the compilation I'm Your Fan.

This one plays it safer and more commercial than the others, and thus is the worst of them. Still, it has much worth hearing.

Bono and Sting are obvious choices to take on Cohen's oeuvre, and they sound fine here, but the real standouts are Tori Amos' gentle take on "Famous Blue Raincoat" and, believe it or not, Billy Joel's surprisingly sensitive "Light As the Breeze."

Sometimes a song and artist are just mismatched, though, for example, Don Henley puts too much of a peaceful easy feeling on "Everybody Knows," a masterpiece of obsessive jealousy and spite.

Still, if this album gets people to seek out the originals, it's a triumph.  (11/95)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 1995-1997 PopEntertainment.com All rights reserved. Revised: August 05, 2015.