The Buffalo News, US
October 26, 2001

Leonard Cohen: Ten New Songs

by Craig Seymour

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Don't let the title fool you. Though Leonard Cohen's latest is simply called Ten New Songs - which harks back to the names of early albums like Songs From a Room and Songs of Love and Hate - the tunes on the rich new effort are both emotionally and musically complex. The accomplished sixtysomething poet/novelist/singer/songwriter, who recently ended a five-year retreat at a Zen monastery, uses his 14th release to wisely muse about the trials of life and love in his trademark hoarse growl that sounds as if he gargles with flaming hot tar.

While billed as a solo work, Ten New Songs is also very much a collaboration between Cohen and his background singer Sharon Robinson, who appears on the cover, co-writes every tune and serves as the album's producer. In fact, the album is such an aesthetic success because Robinson's soulful vocals and warm electronic backing tracks provide a pleasing sonic salve for the rugged humanity of Cohen's voice and words.

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