Leonard Cohen – Ten New Songs (2001/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 52:46 minutes | 577 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Artwork: Front cover | Source: HDTracks
Ten New Songs (2001) was co-written and produced by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson, and was Cohen’s first album recorded after he had spent a several years (starting in 1994) at the Mt. Baldy Zen Center in Southern California. The album was the first Cohen album that was recorded and produced digitally.
“I’m back on Boogie Street,” declares Leonard Cohen on two different songs in this collection, titled with characteristic understatement Ten New Songs. (Previous album titles have included Songs of Leonard Cohen, Songs from a Room, and Recent Songs.) More poet than musician, Cohen has, since his early albums, tended to rely on collaborations with musicians to put together his music: John Lissauer on 1974’s New Skin for the Old Ceremony, Henry Lewy on 1979’s Recent Songs, and, notoriously, Phil Spector on 1977’s Death of a Ladies’ Man. On Ten New Songs, his partner is former backup singer Sharon Robinson, who co-wrote “Everybody Knows” on 1988’s I’m Your Man and earns co-writing credit on all the material here. She has also conjured the musical backgrounds (“All tracks arranged, programmed, and performed by Sharon Robinson,” reads the credit), and she harmonizes with Cohen throughout. But all collaborators (even Spector) are in the service of Cohen’s poetic vision, which remains the dominant element on this elegiac set. After a restatement of purpose on “In My Secret Life,” he turns in a moody set of reflections on decline, even alluding to fellow poet Robert Frost’s famous “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” in “A Thousand Kisses Deep”: “And maybe I had miles to drive/And promises to keep/You ditch it all to stay alive/A thousand kisses deep.” The songs are full of leave-taking, with titles like “Alexandra Leaving” and “You Have Loved Enough” accurately describing the tone, concluding with the prayer-like valedictory “The Land of Plenty,” which gently remonstrates with the consumer society the poet has always engaged and rejected: “May the lights in the land of plenty/Shine on the truth some day.” Even in the quietude of Cohen’s catalog, the result seems like a coda.
01 – In My Secret Life
02 – A Thousand Kisses Deep
03 – That Don’t Make It Junk
04 – Here It Is
05 – Love Itself
06 – By the Rivers Dark
07 – Alexandra Leaving
08 – You Have Loved Enough
09 – Boogie Street
10 – The Land of Plenty