The Sunday Times, UK
October 7, 2001

New Releases

by Mark Edwards

Contributed by Glyn Pope

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Ten New Songs
Columbia 501202 2

Leonard Cohen once asked Bob Dylan how long it took him to write a song and was surprised to find the answer involved the word hours; Cohen's preferred unit of measurement is months. Perhaps that should be years. It's nine years since his last album, The Future. Ten New Songs' 10 new songs are co-written and co-performed with the soul singer Sharon Robinson. At 67, Cohen sounds, if not exactly happy, then at least less melancholic. The backing tracks are underproduced, sometimes giving the impression that one of the great voices of our time is singing over a preset pattern on a home keyboard. But Cohen's deepening growl, his unique vocabulary and his continuing knack for a simple but hypnotic melody combine to wonderful effect on songs like "In My Secret Life" and "Alexandra Leaving" - worthy additions to his impressive canon.

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