Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems is a portrait of the artist in his joyful late period by Bernard Zuel (The Age: Sept 12, 2014) is the strongest review of Leonard Cohen’s new album published thus far [at time of original posting: September 12, 2014]. Excerpts follow, but the full article deserves reading and is available at the link:
These days we get first of all the idea, to quote a line from this record, that “the party’s over but I’ve landed on my feet” and that this ought to be celebrated. And then there’s the more serious and sustainable knowing there’s more to like than dislike about the state of his (our?) life. What’s important to note about this is that it is not a repudiation or even contradiction of earlier moments of doubt and scepticism, disappointment and despair. You know – what some would say were the key parts of both his career and reputation. No: Leonard may be laughing but he’s not doing so with his eyes closed.
Actually, oddly perhaps, it is country music which is the most frequent contributor to these songs. Even when discussing the tribulations of a slave in ancient Egypt. Furthermore, there is underneath so much of it – country, lounge bar or almost traditional – a delicious rhythmic feel, a sensuous shuffling of your ions in a manner that doesn’t require words.
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 September 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.