[Contemporary music is either] telling the deep thoughts or…working the beat – there seems to be very little in between. The great lesson of hip-hop is that it has a thread and narrative, but it’s all about the environment. There’s interdependence between the words and the music.
He mentions “You Have Loved Enough” as an example of this subterfuge. It’s a stately processional, not unlike others in the Cohen catalog – except there’s a little bit of R&B swagger in the drum programming, and there’s beautiful solo guitar running underneath, and Cohen’s jagged voice is smoothed over by Robinson’s layered harmonies.
That song is about relaxing in the midst of your desire. Whatever it is you want – a woman’s touch, unity with the whole enterprise, whatever you hunger for – you’re not going to get it by pushing. We couldn’t really express that if we were trying too hard ourselves. The music has to give the same message: Realize that it’s not in your hands all the time. Relax and get comfortable with the notion that we don’t run the show.
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.
- Poet Seeks Perfect Word On His CD by Tom Moon. Philadelphia Inquirer: October 14, 2001. [↩]