Leonard Cohen’s 14th Studio Album
Ever present on the scene since 1966, Leonard Cohen’s latest album is a pristine and pious last testament. A gentle soul who never really felt a part of the stage but always excelled when it came to studio recordings brings out his 14th studio album and it is a reminder of what he used to be in his hay days. Always crooning out tracks that come close to his personal life, his love and his rise or fall – Cohen once again manages to introduce a personal touch with “You Want It Darker”.
It is no secret that Cohen is 82 years old and possibly close to the end than he ever was but somehow, the lable of old and “ready to die” has egged him on to produce one last masterclass reminding his fans that he still have years left, if only the heavenly souls would allow him to do so. In his own words, he really does intend to live longer and thus consoles us with a simple studio album. It all started with Leonard as a motor trader, buying and selling cars from his own home – and he somehow transitioned into a musical mastermind. It could stem to the fact though that Leonard was always an entrepreneur. Armed with motor trader insurance, and a couple of vehicles to sell – he quickly built a multi million pound empire!
Always known for kicking up feelings of spirituality or the ambiguity of love, setting aside a couple of prayers to carnal desires and even talking on topics of enlightenment, Cohen has delved into several abstract topics but always with a positive twist. His 14th album though is a bit more dark with references to blackness of death and phrases that practically suggest his lamentation with the impending demise. “Leaving the Table”, “It’s au revoir” and the likes all suggestive of death make their way into his recent composition. For a change though this helps bring a different take to what we are used with.
The darkness is not just visible in his writings but also his baritone. Naturally, as one ages it is expected that their voice undergoes a slue of changes. Cohen’s natural age adds an obvious darkness even in his voice, which had begun from his recent past albums, Popular Problems and Old Ideas. His younger self, better known for a nasal reediness and rougher edges is not replaced with an older and aged wine that is in defiance and ready to prove folks wrong.
As a song writer though Cohen does score an ace. He always has in the past and experimentation is why he succeeds once again. Experimenting this time with gloomy lyrics, more of an impending end gives his latest creation a whole different experience level.