The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Leonard Ciohen's last studio album (2016)
elcord
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The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby elcord » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:16 am

An Australian review out today

Review by Bernard Zuel

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/enterta ... s4ifo.html
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MarieM
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby MarieM » Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:54 am

Uncut's 9/10 review of You Want It Darker provided thanks to Dave Curless:

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

Postby Bennyboy » Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:06 pm

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

Postby Bennyboy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:25 am

On the aerial / arial question, I don't think the ambiguity is an accident, but I guess only Leonard could answer that.

Oh and here's another, extremely perceptive, review of the album - one which I agree with entirely (although I would give it an extra point out of ten).

http://floodmagazine.com/40710/leonard- ... it-darker/

Leonard Cohen, “You Want It Darker”
October 18th 2016
by Josh Hurst
Leonard Cohenleonard_cohen-2016-you_want_it_darker
You Want It Darker
COLUMBIA/SONY
8/10

“You smiled at me like I was young,” sings Leonard Cohen toward the top of his new album, You Want It Darker. “You took my breath away.” Cohen has never exactly seemed young, and You Want It Darker is at least his third album in a row that feels consciously designed to be his last (though the man himself says he’s got at least two more he’d like to complete). It’s bent toward eschatology, shadowed by death, obsessed with endings. And he sounds tired, too, every song flying a flag of surrender. “I wish there was a treaty we could sign,” he sighs on one song. “I’m leaving the table,” he declares on another. “I’m out of the game.”

So why is it that You Want It Darker feels like the hippest, most vibrant Leonard Cohen album in ages? Maybe it’s because it’s the best sounding record he’s made in quite some time, thanks in part to the production work of his son, Adam Cohen. You can still hear the organ hum on “If I Didn’t Have Your Love,” and the title cut rides atop a steely Casio groove, but by and large the chintzy keyboard productions he’s favored for so long are gone here, replaced by acoustic guitar and piano, and, on “Steer Your Way,” a particularly eloquent string arrangement. The female soul singers who have carried his melodies since Ten New Songs are dialed back as well, though there’s a monastic choir that shows up here and there to add gravitas. Not that it’s needed: Cohen has rarely inhabited his songs with greater authority. He was confined to a stiff chair during the album’s recording, in pain from a back injury, and maybe the change in posture forced him to summon fire from deep in his belly; whatever the reason, his sonorous baritone is magnificent here, and the cracks in his voice are as telling as the details in the lyrics.

The songs themselves are—to paraphrase Flannery O’Connor—God-haunted, if not exactly God-centered. “You Want It Darker” uses the imagery of a suffering servant, central to Christianity but rooted in Judaism, and the very next song has water turning into wine (and then back again). There are betrayals and reconciliations between lovers who always come to the end of their journeys with deep scars and—in some cases—a sense of peace. Whether some of these lovers might be God himself is a perfectly reasonable question to raise, though Cohen’s lyrics are cagey and coy. “They ought to give my heart a medal for letting go of you / When I turned my back on the devil, I turned my back on the angel, too,” he sings, invoking his stint in an ascetic Buddhist monastery in a way that suggests regret over abandoning the sensual pleasures of this world. At eighty-two, maybe Cohen’s suddenly not so sure if Heaven’s everything it’s cracked up to be.

The record is only nine songs long, and one of those is a string reprise of an earlier tune, but You Want It Darker is as deep as it is compact. “It Seemed the Better Way” is ghostly and minimal, haunted by crumbling ideals: “Seemed the better way / When first I heard him speak / Now it’s much too late / To turn the other cheek.” “If I Didn’t Have Your Love” is a midnight lament rendered in disarmingly simple language. And “Steer Your Way” winds through the garden of good and evil like it’s a sister song to Dylan’s “Ain’t Talkin.’” Be careful, it seems to say. This world is full of goodness—but it’s getting darker all the time.
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Re: New Album announced: 'You Want It Darker'

Postby emaspac » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:59 am

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The Darker Album: interviews and reviews

Postby jarkko » Wed Oct 19, 2016 12:21 pm

I'm going to copy or move all media info to this thread.
Please post any new media links/articles/reviews here - the original Darker thread is already pretty long!
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|||
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby yoeri » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:12 pm

In dutch (Humo): positive review in text but "only" 3.5 stars:

cd
Lenny Blues

★★★1/2

‘You Want It Darker’? Echt? Nóg donkerder? Nog meer doem, fatalisme, duisternis en somberte dan Leonard Cohen ons de voorbije vijftig jaar heeft voorgeschoteld?

Het goeie nieuws is dat Cohen, en het werd tijd, op deze plaat eindelijk de monotonie van dat eeuwige synthesizertje en dat eeuwige drumcomputertje laat varen, en weer ’ns wat muzikale kleur en franje toelaat in de duisternis. Want die minimalistische monotonie leverde maar één écht briljante song op: ‘Tower of Song’.

Dit keer mag een koor meedoen, een lap steel-gitaar, een viool, een vleugelpiano, een hobo, een Duane Eddy–achtige twang. Misschien is hem dat aangepraat door de producer – zijn zoon Adam. Helaas ook weer die eeuwige mandoline – maar dat kan aan mij liggen. De mooiste vrouwelijke backing vocals in de popmuziek zijn er nog altijd – Cohen heeft zich altijd omringd door muzen, privé en ‘voor het werk’. Zijn eerste en meest innige muze, de Noorse Marianne Ihlen, is onlangs overleden, 81 jaar oud. Toen Cohen in 2010 in Oslo optrad, woonde Marianne dat concert bij, maar ze ging niet backstage om Leonard te ontmoeten. Dat ervaar ik als diep tragisch. So long, Marianne.

De stem van Leonard is dieper dan ooit, soms haspelt hij raspend en gorgelend lange teksten af, maar de autoriteit en de warmte in die somberte zijn onverminderd. Da’s niet noodzakelijk troostrijk, want de charmante, elegante, erudiete en lieve man die Cohen ontegensprekelijk is, heeft, als je het allemaal optelt, toch wel een heel zwarte levensvisie. Ook dit keer is zijn boodschap er een van ruïnes, barre vlaktes, afrekeningen, menselijke onvolkomenheid, uitzichtloosheid en fatalisme. En dat hij zo’n prachtige stem heeft om desnoods het einde van de wereld (alleszins van de zijne) aan te kondigen, maakt het bepaald verraderlijk. ‘It’s much too late to turn the other cheek.’

Dood, afscheid, aftakeling en dingen die onomkeerbaar zijn, dat zijn de overheersende thema’s. ‘I’m ready, my Lord’, bromt Cohen. Ik dacht dat hij een atheïst was (een boeddhistische atheïst, bestaat dat?) en zou het teleurstellend vinden als zo’n slimme, bijzondere man dat niet was. Maar de boodschap is duidelijk: onze Leonard heeft één been in het graf. Niet bepaald een popular problem, om de titel van zijn vorige plaat eens te parafraseren. Maar Cohen heeft daar, zoals het een stoïcijn en een parttimemonnik betaamt, vrede mee. Toen Marianne aan leukemie dreigde te sterven, schreef Leonard haar een afscheidsbrief: ‘I think I will be following you very soon… Ik bevind me zo dicht achter je dat je, als je je hand uitstrekt, de mijne kan voelen.’ En ook hier zingt hij in één song ‘I’m travelling light, it’s au revoir’, en in een andere ‘I’m leaving the table, I’m out of the game’. Dat is een boodschap die we niet willen horen, ook al komt aan zijn mooie liedjes nooit een eind. (ss)
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby cohenadmirer » Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:41 pm

The Telegraph - UK
' A Bleak Masterpiece'
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/l ... er-review/
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby yoeri » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:34 pm

2008: Athens
2009: Madrid
2010: Gent, Lille
2012: Gent, Berlin, Madrid
2013: Antwerp, Brussels, Pula, Amsterdam
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby yoeri » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:37 pm

Spiegel online (9/10 points, not the date):

http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/musik/neue ... 17104.html
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby jarkko » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:16 pm

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Les inRockuptibles
French weekly magazine
n° 1090 (19 to 25 october 2016)
Inside : 10 pages with pictures (Colours, black & white) and drawing.

(Scanned by Dominique)
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby Mistygris » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:31 pm

Thank you! for that info. I will go and buy it tomorrow !
London, 1976. Monaco, 2009.
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby JudasPriest » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:37 pm

Only 3.5 stars in that Dutch publication? Hope it was out of a maximum 4
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby Bennyboy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:46 pm

JudasPriest wrote:Only 3.5 stars in that Dutch publication? Hope it was out of a maximum 4
Out of 3 would be about right....
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Re: The Darker album: Interviews and reviews in the media

Postby cohenadmirer » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:29 pm

Not a great drawing on that french cover .
Geoffrey could do much better!
Leonard's work resonates
Brighton 1979; Dublin , Manchester june 2008; glasgow, manchester Nov 2008; Liverpool july 2009 ; Barcelona Sept 2009 ;marseille, lille september2010: Ghent August 2012;Barcelona October 2012;Montreal x2 November 2012: 2013; Saint John NB April 2013; Brussels June 2013;Manchester August 2013; Leeds , Birmingham September 2013; Amsterdam September 2013

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