July 5, 2001

Leonard Cohen in Madrid Yesterday to
Present Some of His "New Songs"

Antonio Rojas

Contributed by Juan Luis Corcobado Cartes
Translated by Guadalupe Baquero

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After a decade without a new studio recording, the Canadian songwriter has done it again. Ten New Songs will be released in October; this is an album with ten new songs which he composed with Sharon Robinson, who also arranged and produced them and performs some of the vocals. Currently, Cohen is touring some European countries to present his new work. Yesterday, in Madrid, he met some journalists and sales managers. Today he will be in Berlin.

With these new songs, Cohen, who's voice remains exciting, establishes an intimate feeling, an atmosphere of quietness. "I do what I have to do / To get by. / But I know what is wrong. / And I know what is right. / And I'd die for the truth / In My Secret Life," he sings in "In My Secret Life," title of the song that will soon appear as a single. Although love is a leitmotiv, perhaps what is most noticeable is the spirituality that charges songs like "Here It Is," "Alexandra Leaving" and "The Land of Plenty." Cohen is a simple and humble man, who has spent a long time at Mount Baldy Zen Centre in California.

Ten New Songs is not the only Cohen album this year. Columbia Records has released Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979, a live album with twelve songs: among them "The Window," "The Smoky Life," "Lover Lover Lover" and "So Long, Marianne," recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and at the Dome Theatre in Brighton during the world-wide tour of that year. Cohen started recording in 1967 with the album The Songs of Leonard Cohen. This was followed by Songs From a Room, New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Recent Songs and The Future, released in 1992 and the last studio album. There were also two live albums and two greatest hits albums: Best of Leonard Cohen (1975) and More Best Of (1997).

For the moment there are no dates for a possible tour of Ten New Songs, but we hope it will be soon.

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