The Spectator, UK
8 December 2001

Pop Music, Festive Treats

by Marcus Berkmann

Contributed by Robert Bower, Esther Cohen and Dick Straub

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...Next, the old wrecks. Leonard Cohen, back after nine long years two of them spent in a Buddhist monastery with Ten New Songs (Columbia), a quieter, more reflective collection than the more outgoing I'm Your Man and The Future. Always a canny collaborator, Cohen has this time written only the lyrics and subcontracted all musical labors to Sharon Robinson, who also produces, plays all the instruments and sings backing vocals. This might seem something of a risk, but Robinson co-wrote one of his greatest songs, "Everybody Knows," and her backings here perfectly complement those familiar grumbling vocals. It really is a total treat; to be savoured for the many years it'll take him to start recording again. If he ever does record again he's now 68. Coo, what a horrible thought.

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