Old Ideas is Leonard Cohen's new album, officially released today. I bought it yesterday from the Amazon MP3 store, and I've been listening to nothing else, ever since. I'm a big Leonard Cohen fan, and it seems to me that this album represents a kind of distilled essence of Cohen, like a martial arts form conducted by a wizened master who reduces each movement to its sparest, most essential gesture.
Cohen's voice is so whiskey-gravelley here that he goes all the way through Tom Waits at times and enters Isaac Hayes territory, challenging the woofer under my desk. He's given up nearly any pretense of singing, and the best word for what he does on Old Ideas is "reciting," and this low-down-dirty spoken word is backed with pure and angelic female singers, which evokes Jennifer Warnes's classic disc of Cohen covers, Famous Blue Raincoat. The instrumentation is a bit of country, a bit of jazz, and stripped down to essentials: brushed cymbals, muted horns, a hint of klezmer clarinet.
The lyrics are as deceptively simple as the rest, at first blush just more of the Cohen we know and love, but the more I listen to them, the more I find myself falling into them. You can read the full lyrics here, and NPR is streaming the whole album here.
Several years ago, Gary Card created a chart illustrating Prince’s hairstyles from 1978 to 2013. After Prince’s death, Dazed interviewed Card about the project, originally produced for Beat magazine. Prince tweeted it and it went viral, it was one the most exciting moments of my life, knowing I’d impressed my hero. It came out with […]
The legendary artist Prince died last week at age 57. Reports are emerging today that prescription opioid pills, specifically Percocet, were found on his person. More of the drug was found in his Minnesota home.
In a 2013 episode of New Girl, the characters were invited to a party hosted by Prince. When Prince was made aware of the intended plot, he sent the producers a list of jams he played at his real parties. Damn it’s a smoking mix. Spotify playlist below. “City in the Sky,” The Staple Singers […]
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