Old Ideas-
Leonard Cohen
By: Gus Bernadicou
Leonard Cohen has always packed his poetry with a punch hiding a tainted reality behind every mumble of his horse breath. His latest project “Old Ideas” backs up the old ideas that he has stuck behind, making him the legend that he is. When you are 77, walking to the coach is often a problem but age plays no factor to the now aged Cohen, who is graceful as he can be. The album starts off with “Going Home,” a third-person autobiographical tune that focuses on finding a potential happiness around every corner. The album then fades into the ever-so-moody eight-minute “Amen.” Hasten to the hay, the love song “Show Me The Place” is the perfect love song with amazing female choir background vocals. It’ll be in the movies. With crazy keyboards jams and Cohen’s whispers trailing behind, the tune “Darkness” is one of the key-tracks on this album. A fair representation of the past and future, the track swims in the abyss of, once again, Cohen’s tainted reality. The present is represented with the track “Come Healing.” “O let the heavens hear it/The penitential hymn/Come healing of the spirit/Come healing of the limb…” With the vocals being the loudest instrument in the mix, “Banjo” has a hint of country but is pure poetry bliss with a commercially attractive edge. The most commercially “sellable” tune on the album, “Lullaby,” is next and with the two-minute drum beats opening up the song transcends in and out of the necessity, sleeping. Escaping the dream, the album wakes up with its last tune “Different Sides” which is all about the lines that are drawn by society that dictate right from wrong. Lines like "I know that you have to hate me/but could you hate me less?" take on a new meaning when uttered by Cohen, they become art.
With poetry in music being constantly misunderstood, like the tragically horrendous “LuLu” by Lou Reed, aged rocker Leonard Cohen proves that he still has what it takes to claim the thrown he has earned.