Leonard Cohen’s new album Old Ideas
The Canadian songwriter hasn’t released an album in almost a decade, so it is fair to say that expectations have been running high. The previous two Cohen releases were not his strongest material, so some may question whether he still has something to sing about, but Old Ideas proves he does.
Some are calling it a return to form, his best album since The Future which was released almost twenty years ago.
Thematically it sounds like a Leonard Cohen album, dealing with issues of sexuality, mortality and religion – which means it will definitely satisfy his fanbase. The record does not feature a standalone single like the epic Hallelujah, but instead shows off the vibrant poetry of a master.
The darkness his work is known for is audible in every song, as his voice somehow manages to sound deeper than it ever has in the past.
The opening track – Going Home – is a third person reflection on himself, a beautiful self deprecating look at how he views Leonard Cohen. It ends with the line “he’s a lazy bastard living in a suit,” and we all know how untrue that is.
At 77, many people would be enjoying retirement – not embarking on a world tour – and maybe Cohen would be as well, had a previous manager not made off with a good deal of his money. Hearing Old Ideas makes you think such situations were almost meant to be, providing him with fuel to convincingly write about the struggle life often shows itself to be.
There is no doubt that songs like The Darkness were inspired by such unwelcome situations when you hear lines like “I got no future, I know my days are few… I thought the past would last me but the darkness got that too.” His misfortune is our fortune, because it led to yet another incredible Leonard Cohen album.
Cohen’s music at its best is the kind that comforts you when everything falls apart, and this record definitely succeeds in that feeling. There is a somberness to it that almost sounds like a goodbye, like he has decided this is the last thing he will ever release. I certainly hope that isn’t the case, because Old Ideas proves he still has a lot of beautiful poetry to give to the world.
- ‘Going Home’
- ‘Show Me the Place’
- ‘The Darkness’
- ‘Crazy To Love You’
- ‘Come Healing’
- ‘Different Sides’
Listen to Going Home below: