**** / ******
Leonard Cohen is so full of bottled-up sexuality that he sometimes
cannot control himself.
This can lead to drastic steps. Probably age makes the eruptions
come more and more
rarely, but without any decrease in power.
Sometimes he steps back and goes to a monastery attempting to learn how
to control his lust,
but this is of course doomed to fail. Then he returns to music, a world
in which he does not at
all feel forced to hide the sexuality but will be able to just let
"I'm turning tricks / I'm getting fixed / I'm back on Boogie Street" he
whispers trying to explain,
just like there would have been another alternative. Leonard Cohen has
always been more a poet
than a singer, and just like in the past he varies his pitch very little
to follow the melodies. Instead
he whispers and hisses close to the microphone with his darkest loser's
voice and lets Sharon
Robinson take care of such details like melodies, harmonies and
production. Her synths, machines
and choruses are hardly up-to-date, but it is of no great importance, it
is The Voice that counts.
Leonard Cohen is still haunted by the same inspiring demons from 1968
on Songs of Leonard
Cohen: the girl, the bottle, and (maybe to less extent) the wood. His
way to handle the demons – with
great elegance and grace even when he is drunk – and with quite a number
of writer's tricks very
carefully investigated, made it clear that he was not at home with the
protest singers of the era.
Even so, he got his message through to longing ladies and home-woven
poets of both genders.
Another generation with the same hallmarks got hooked in 1984 with
Various Positions although
"Hallelujah" touched even more the young like Echo & The Bunnymen and Prince
fans. After Jeff Buckley's
unconditional praise the next generation of romantic home-made poets is
ready to fall, and Ten
New Songs is just as good a red wine consumption album than any of Cohen's earlier records.