New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

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Stranger
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby Stranger » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:25 pm

A Big Thanks to Leonard and his management for allowing us to listen to the fantastic new album, and of course to those who made it happen (Wijbe, Willy, Jarkko, Liesbeth, and all those who organised the event). The first listen made me place the atmosphere of "You want it darker" alongside my favourite album "Songs of Love and Hate", and songs like "Show me the place". I can't wait to hear "You want it darker" again...
" ........... if one can describe as serious the confused comedy of our lives". Graham Greene, "The Comedians".
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby JudasPriest » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:30 am

Please tell us what the new album is like...
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby swisschris » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:26 pm

More than a week has passed by since I heard Leonard's new album at the Event in Amsterdam.
As we were not allowed to record - righteously so ! - and as I forgot to take notes, I can't give a detailed review of the album but I can write down what I still remember.

4 or 5 songs of the album were co-written with Patrick Leonard (he told us at the Event)
1 song was co-written with Sharon Robinson (she told me after her concert but stupid me forgot to ask which song it was...)

The album starts with the title song "You want it darker". I already liked the one-minute-clip from Peaky Blinders but I found the whole song to be very hypnotic. It is a song full of religious imagery. For example, several times in the song the lines "Hineni - I'm with you my lord" appears. Hineni is Hebrew. meaning "I am here" in a spiritual sense "I am here for you fully, with the trust and vulnerability to do whatever it is you ask of me". It is used when G-D personally calls on someone in the Bible to do something difficult and important, for example Abraham or Moses responded to the call of G-D with Hineni. (see: http://www.stljewishlight.com/opinion/d ... 3ce6c.html). So it is only fitting that what I first thought to be a sample is actually a real choir appearing in the song (the cantor and choir of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim in Westmount/Montreal). The choir appears in another song but unfortunately I forgot in which one.

Full of religious imagery is also another favourite of mine: "Steer your way". It is the most up-tempo song (up-tempo in relation of other Cohen songs:-) on the album and reminded me a little bit of "Closing Time" (although slightly slower) with the beautiful violin playing. It is maybe also the most "catchy" song on the album and the one I continued humming ever since....

The most beautiful song on the album maybe is "Treaty" which appears in two versions. Patrick Leonard told us that he had been working with Leonard on this song for 7 years, over and over again, and the result really is a masterpiece. Apparently, the album should have closed with "Steer your way", but then Leonard asked Patrick to arrange an instrumental version of the song for a string quartet and that's how the album closes, the string quartet playing and then Leonard coming in at the end reciting a verse of the song, of which I recall only the last words "I wish there was a treaty, I wish there was a treaty between your love and mine". It is the most beautiful album closer, prepare your handkerchiefs...

Another song that I recall was "Traveling Light", on which I heard, if I'm not mistaken, a bouzouki playing...

Overall, I think it is a very homogenous piece of art. There wasn't a single song that I didn't like. It is very rich in details (so many different voices and instruments to be heard) beautifully produced and has a rather "acoustic feel". Gone are the cheap-sounding keyboards:-)
So it is a great album through and through, from the artwork to the melodies and the poetry.

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2009: Nimes August 20th;
2010: Basel September 8th;
2012: Verona September 24th;
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jerry
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby jerry » Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:44 pm

I always get a little nervous when an artist of Leonard's caliber has to co-write a song.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby Goldin » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:16 pm

Thanks, Chris! The most comprehensive review to date, and really encouraging (as any other mini-review of the album!).

I'm intrigued by Eva's recent comment about "one of the songs originated in Can't take the hills" /with the different lyrics/. Book of Longing demo, perhaps, is my favourite song, so I'm overwhelmingly excited to learn more!
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby mutti » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:25 pm

Swiss Chris Thank you for your report. While reading it I remembered more of the songs as I was spellbound while listening and forgot a lot though its all there in memory. I also heard a violin in one song for sure that sounded like Alex playing. It was beautiful...
Yes folks this album is very special. I can hardly wait for it to be released so we all can listen to our heart's content.
I especially liked Patrick Leonard's presentation. He appears humble and very sweet. He talked of his work and collaboration of Leonard's music and it was clear to me Leonard makes the final decisions and it truly is about Leonard and not Patrick. He seems to be a perfect match.

He talked about another album in the works that will be mostly instrumental with Leonard coming in and out. It was really cool how he played a familiar song and afterwards said to us something like "you could hear the words perfectly in your mind couldn't you?" I may have the words wrong but it was profound to me when he said it as he was spot on...
Hard to put all this in words.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby cohenadmirer » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:54 pm

jerry wrote:I always get a little nervous when an artist of Leonard's caliber has to co-write a song.
I'm trusting that in this instance the final result will be more than fine. :D
Leonard's work resonates
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby Bennyboy » Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:33 pm

Really looking forward to this. Popular Problems was/is a masterpiece - if this one manages to equal it I will be a very happy man indeed.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby JudasPriest » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:21 pm

That would have been my starting position too but my hopes are rapidly turning into an expectation that YWID will actually surpass PP.

Not sure if it's been mentioned here already but over at the Cohencentric site there's a link to the brochure of the Amsterdam event and on p35 of the PDF there's what appear to be the full lyrics to the title track and they're pretty tasty...
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby jarkko » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:15 pm

viewtopic.php?f=87&t=36728:
If you missed our 10th Leonard Cohen Event in Amsterdam but want to read the booklet (64 pages),
follow this link: http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com/amsterdam-booklet.pdf
Note that the size of the pdf file is 39 MB.
Leonard kindly gave us permission to print the lyrics to You Want It Darker and Steer Your Way in the booklet (pages 35 and 43)
.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
James T
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby James T » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:54 am

I hope to see some bundles available to pre-order once release date is sorted...... :)
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby JudasPriest » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:57 am

And presumably the track times will be available once pre-ordering kicks in. Any idea Jarkko if there will be a track or 2 released officially in the buildup to the album coming out? That has been the norm previously so hoping the pattern holds.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby jarkko » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:01 am

Yes, one or two tracks will be streamed to promote the album at some point, in a month or so.
1988, 1993: Helsinki||2008: Manchester|Oslo|London O2|Berlin|Helsinki|London RAH|| 2009: New York Beacon|Berlin|Venice|Barcelona|Las Vegas|San José||2010: Salzburg|Helsinki|Gent|Bratislava|Las Vegas|| 2012: Gent|Helsinki|Verona|| 2013: New York|Pula|Oslo|||
JudasPriest
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby JudasPriest » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:08 pm

Excellent- I haven't look forward to any album as much since Dylan's Tempest 4 years ago.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:29 pm

I'm so very much looking forward to hearing and listening... and feeling.
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