Record Review: ‘Old Ideas’ by Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen’s success in music has come from songs that embody often human quandaries, such as sex, love, religion, and death. With Cohen’s latest release Old Ideas, he revisits these themes, but what makes them intriguing is that they’re so believable, especially from his perspective. Cohen has never claimed to fortune, especially with his bankruptcy in 2005. And while these may be “Old Ideas,” Cohen manages to make them fresh and new with his first release in eight years.

Cohen’s voice is liken to that of Tom Waits, but presents itself in full troubadour style. the opening track, “Going Home” is a beautiful poem set to music, and concerns Cohen’s spiritual views, particularly about how God views him. It also conveys itself as a song from a man who doesn’t have a lot of time. The album then diametrically transitions into the second track, “Amen,” in which the poet wants to know whether God understands him. “Anyhow” is easily the most lustful track on the album, making damn sure that you wouldn’t mind Cohen as your wing man at a bar.

The instrumentation and composition of these songs, like many in Cohen’s catalog, are simple in nature, but hit straight to the heart. It could be this fact alone that makes Leonard Cohen so appealing to the masses. Whatever it is, we’re happy to have him back, and hopefully we won’t have to wait long for another album.

Album Rating: Buy It on CD or Vinyl

Listening Co-efficient: Passive Listen

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