Christchurch Press, New Zealand
November 3, 2001

Leonard Cohen: Ten New Songs

by Ross Middlemiss Friedman

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After nearly five years spent meditating atop Mount Baldy in southern California, Canadian poet, novelist, and songwriter Leonard Cohen was recently ordained as a Zen monk and given the name Jikan (Silent One). That is particularly fitting, as this is his first album of new material since The Future in 1992. And now, lo and behold, the Silent One cometh down from the mountain to deliver unto us his 14th album. Tantalisingly titled Ten New Songs it was born from a collaboration with multi-talented singer-instrumentalist Sharon Robinson. Cohen brings an ethereal, meditative quality to these songs and the way that Robinson hangs off his hoarse whisper actually makes it sound like he can sing. "In My Secret Life," "A Thousand Kisses Deep," and "Boogie Street" demonstrate old "Jikan" hasn't lost his touch. Worth investigating.

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