"Popular Problems" - the next LC album

This section is dedicated to the new studio album and the Dublin concert video
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Mabeanie1
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby Mabeanie1 » Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:09 pm

Meanwhile, Amazon has the vinyl (incl a copy of the CD) at £13.85. Go figure. The only downside is the delayed release date.

BTW the UK has always been much more expensive for CDs than places like the US, Canada and Germany.

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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby Athnuachan » Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:12 pm

Perhaps the cover is LC 's way of asking us to face up to the reality, that he will soon be 80, and that we're unlikely to see him skipping on and off the stage again?

Personally I am looking forward much more to the release of the next (last?) live DVD.
I think LC has always been better live than in studio, e.g. "Field Commander Cohen" surpasses "Recent Songs".
The audience always lifts him.
(And maybe even more so, playing with live musicians rather than with computers! )
I think we have all experienced that at the live concerts.

But then, at this stage, anything we get is a bonus, something to be thankful for!
Last edited by Athnuachan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:01 pm

Just read your comments, Marie. Totally agree. Totally.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby yogi » Sat Sep 06, 2014 4:22 pm

Am I the only one, who preferes more the Lenny with his strange synthesizer (The Future, 10 new Songs, Dear Heather) than the straight produced releases with Patrick Leonard?
Mayby next time again, something like the KCRW-demo of Book of Longing, please, Leonard!
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby JudasPriest » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:36 am

Just listened to the whole album once, only on IPad speakers but Nevermind grabbed me as an instant and major standout. You Got Me Singing was a lovely and moving closer too. I agree with his assessment of Born In Chains: he hasn't nailed it yet.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby JudasPriest » Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:49 pm

I like the closing track and A Street as well. My Oh My is nice too.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby lindyasimus » Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:28 pm

haha This is great - Nevemind has 'doof doof' beat - all the young'uns will be picking up this album.

How fantastic! If this was a quick production let there be many more.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby Goldin » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:20 pm

My Oh My: is it a sweet little love song with no philosophical background, or am I missing anything?

So good.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby sirius » Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:26 pm

Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems – exclusive album stream

Listen to Leonard Cohen’s 13th album ahead of its release and let us know your thoughts


http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/s ... bum-stream

Image
Leonard Cohen Hold on to your hat ... Leonard Cohen
Photograph: Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

Monday 15 September 2014 11.36 BST theguardian.com

During a recent talk in Los Angeles, Leonard Cohen remained remarkably modest regarding his forthcoming album Popular Problems. Showering praise on his co-songwriter Patrick Leonard – who had a part in eight of the album’s nine songs – Cohen admitted that “most of the musical ideas were Patrick’s.” He then went on to say that the one song he wrote himself, Born in Chains, was the only one he wasn’t 100% confident about: “I’ve rewritten it many times to accommodate a change in my theological position,” he said of the lyrics, which he’s apparently been working on for around 40 years.

A willingness to collaborate extensively with another songwriter is something Cohen’s done before – not least on 2001’s Ten New Songs, which was co-written with Sharon Robinson – and the 79-year-old clearly thinks it helps keep his music fresh. So have a listen to Popular Problems ahead of release using the player below and let us know your thoughts.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby yopietro » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:25 pm

Just listened to the full stream of the album. My very first impressions are that the production gets in the way of my enjoyment of this record. My big beef is that the backup singers should be used as seasoning, and not as a main course. Maybe some time down the road, we'll get to hear a "Popular Problems Naked" version, where we can hear Leonard without the female vocals, which seem to my ears to be overbearing and too ubiquitous on this record. To me, they distract from and water down the directness and gravity of his voice and lyrics. They are almost comical at times.
Also, I really would like to hear Leonard writing the music to his songs again. Patrick Leonard wrote most of the music on this record, which often sounds like trite and formulaic gospel. And the production on these songs cheeses out way too much. These songs would benefit from a real band playing real instruments as a band. That is one of the reasons his touring shows have been so moving and successful.
Not to say there are not good moments on first listening. I liked the album opener Slow (until the women come in belting the chorus). Almost Like the Blues is really strong and perhaps Samson in New Orleans is the most moving track on the album. Did I Ever Love You could have been a moving song, but the ridiculous uptempo country parts where the girls repeat the verses that Leonard just sang for me takes away from the emotional content of the song. A Street, My Oh My, and Nevermind have great lyrics but once again the female singers come along to melt velveeta all over them. You Got Me Singing is a nice tune, but same problems with upfrontness of those background vocals everywhere in the foreground has gotten on my nerves and distracted me from a song that should have been much more sparsely produced. And Cohen is right that he did miss the mark on this recording of Born in Chains. It is a jumbled mess. The live versions I've heard are far superior.
My two cents upon first listening. Great lyrics, as usual, from a great treasure of a poet. Mediocre formulaic songwriting from Patrick Leonard. And production not commensurate with an artist of Cohen's stature.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby cohenadmirer » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:42 pm

Nice first listen review just abvve and agree with much of it - especially the comment

# Did I Ever Love You could have been a moving song, but the ridiculous uptempo country parts where the girls repeat the verses that Leonard just sang for me takes away from the emotional content of the song.

That song starts so well , but then the uptempo repeat verses come in and you kind of think 'what's going on '.
Feel tempted to edit out the uptempo bits and compare ... but is that vandalism ??? well ,yes it is !

Inevitably this thread and to some extent the streaming thread is beginning to include album ' reviews'.
Could these be in a separate thread?
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby jerry » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:08 pm

yopietro wrote:Just listened to the full stream of the album. My very first impressions are that the production gets in the way of my enjoyment of this record. My big beef is that the backup singers should be used as seasoning, and not as a main course. Maybe some time down the road, we'll get to hear a "Popular Problems Naked" version, where we can hear Leonard without the female vocals, which seem to my ears to be overbearing and too ubiquitous on this record. To me, they distract from and water down the directness and gravity of his voice and lyrics. They are almost comical at times.
Also, I really would like to hear Leonard writing the music to his songs again. Patrick Leonard wrote most of the music on this record, which often sounds like trite and formulaic gospel. And the production on these songs cheeses out way too much. These songs would benefit from a real band playing real instruments as a band. That is one of the reasons his touring shows have been so moving and successful.
Not to say there are not good moments on first listening. I liked the album opener Slow (until the women come in belting the chorus). Almost Like the Blues is really strong and perhaps Samson in New Orleans is the most moving track on the album. Did I Ever Love You could have been a moving song, but the ridiculous uptempo country parts where the girls repeat the verses that Leonard just sang for me takes away from the emotional content of the song. A Street, My Oh My, and Nevermind have great lyrics but once again the female singers come along to melt velveeta all over them. You Got Me Singing is a nice tune, but same problems with upfrontness of those background vocals everywhere in the foreground has gotten on my nerves and distracted me from a song that should have been much more sparsely produced. And Cohen is right that he did miss the mark on this recording of Born in Chains. It is a jumbled mess. The live versions I've heard are far superior.
My two cents upon first listening. Great lyrics, as usual, from a great treasure of a poet. Mediocre formulaic songwriting from Patrick Leonard. And production not commensurate with an artist of Cohen's stature.
I agree. I'm a little tired of the cheezy elevator music quality lately. The songs live sound thrilling. The studio versions sound dead.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:45 am

The little bits that I caught here and there do not sound like elevator music to me.

And I like it, but I can't help liking what he does. Call this a disease if you want. I don't care. I don't want to be cured.

Maybe he does not want to spoil big money on CD that may be ending in a low quality cheezy CD reader.

After all when people travel all around the world they deserve to have a unique moment in concert. They have ladies there though. For people who can not support them it may be another subject of complaining. But ey!

It is true that I consider Leonard Cohen more as a complete artist, an original performer, than just a musician or poet.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby jerry » Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:57 am

The music and production just seems to fall far short of the usual genius lyrics. Not only on Popular Problems but on other LC albums as well. But then I listen to LC for the words and not necessarily the music. For me there has always been a huge disconnect between the lyrics and the music. Not on all songs but on most. There are some some songs where the music and lyrics seem to fit each other like a glove but then there are many other songs where there seems to be a wall between the lyrics and music. As though the vocals were recorded and the music was added as an afterthought.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
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Re: "Popular Problems" - the next LC album (late September 2

Postby Tchocolatl » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:45 am

Oh! Well. I don't like either every song of the body of works. There is many songs that I never listen to, even in the early material. But all in all, I like the original signature of the artist, and what I like moves me and I love it deeply.

This is true that nowadays we are living in an instantaneity that spoiled experiences which required more time than our culture is ready to provide.

I am cautious with creative genius spirits. Sometimes a creation makes sense only after some years.

Now I return to silence for as long as I can. :D
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