Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

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Born With The Gift Of A G
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Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by Born With The Gift Of A G » Sun May 10, 2015 9:19 pm

"Little lady.....I AM Kris Kristofferson....."
London: 10 & 11 May 1993; Manchester: 17, 18, 19 & 20 June 2008; Vienna: 25 September 2008; London: 17 November 2008; Paris: 26 November 2008; Manchester: 30 November 2008; Liverpool: 14 July 2009; Paris: 28 September 2012; Manchester: 31 August 2013; Leeds: 7 September 2013.
swisschris
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by swisschris » Sun May 10, 2015 9:37 pm

Oh well... A 3-sentence-review. Journalism is definitely dead...

2008:Lyon July 9th, Lörrach July 25th, Zurich October 25th;
2009: Nimes August 20th;
2010: Basel September 8th;
2012: Verona September 24th;
2013: Montreux July 4th
Born With The Gift Of A G
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by Born With The Gift Of A G » Mon May 11, 2015 9:11 pm


Leonard Cohen: Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour


Will Hodgkinson

The Times
(UK)

Published at 12:01AM, May 8 2015


Rating: four stars out of a possible five

During a speech for the MusicCares charity in February, Bob Dylan took umbrage at critics who complained that he couldn’t sing, that he croaked, sounded like a frog. “Why don’t they say those things about Leonard Cohen?” Dylan griped, citing his equally froggy contemporary. “Why do I get special treatment?”

The answer can be found in Can’t Forget, a collection of lesser-known songs recorded in 2012 during Cohen’s world tour, either in concert or during sound checks. In truth, this isn’t an essential release. It consists mostly of album tracks or cover versions, the only new songs being the laid-back Never Gave Nobody Trouble and the jazzy Got A Little Secret, neither a masterpiece. Yet while Dylan may be right to feel picked on by critics who castigate his sandpaper-and-glue tones while the dry-voiced Cohen gets a free ride, he lacks something Cohen has in spades: charm.

There’s a quality in Cohen’s singing that makes you want to spend time in his company. You would give anything to sit on his porch, drinking whisky as he imparts nuggets of wisdom and makes you laugh. That he is a teetotal former Buddhist monk more likely to call the police and have you arrested for trespassing is neither here nor there: he creates an illusion of intimacy and friendship and that’s a useful skill for a singer.

Cohen also has a tendency to write the same song again and again. Field Commander Cohen is So Long, Marianne with different words; Night Comes On a mere note or two away from Suzanne. He gets away with it because he delivers such poetic lines with such wonderfully battered suavity. On Field Commander Cohen he suggests he’s little more than a “faithful woman’s favourite singing millionaire, the patron saint of envy and the grocer of despair”, building up his own pomposity and bashing it down in a few evocative words.

Central to his appeal is his ability to capture insecurities that don’t apply only to singing millionaires, but to ordinary people too. Those of us who have failed to go to the gym as often as we should — all right, ever — can relate to I Can’t Forget, about a man stumbling out of bed, tightening up his gut as he stands before the mirror, and thinking: “This can’t be me.” Couched in Cohen’s familiar formula of female backing vocals, shuffling drums, seesawing organ, country fiddles and simple guitar licks — never better utilised than on a version of 1971’s Joan of Arc, recorded during a Quebec City soundcheck and featuring the gorgeous harmonies of Kent’s Webb Sisters — these songs feel warm and reassuring without being escapist or numbing.

Cohen is the only important singer of his generation who really squares up to the realities of getting old. Finishing the album by thanking the audience for their “gesture of compassion to the elderly”, the 80-year-old runs through the stages of a man’s allure. “You start off irresistible. Then you become resistible. Then you become transparent, as if seen through old plastic. And then you become invisible. And then you become repulsive.”

After reassuring protests from the audience have died down, he concludes his run-through. “After repulsive, you become cute. And that’s where I am.” He can get away with describing himself as cute. Unfairly or not, the same could not be said of Dylan. (Columbia)
"Little lady.....I AM Kris Kristofferson....."
London: 10 & 11 May 1993; Manchester: 17, 18, 19 & 20 June 2008; Vienna: 25 September 2008; London: 17 November 2008; Paris: 26 November 2008; Manchester: 30 November 2008; Liverpool: 14 July 2009; Paris: 28 September 2012; Manchester: 31 August 2013; Leeds: 7 September 2013.
byboyne
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by byboyne » Wed May 13, 2015 6:29 pm

Dublin 1988, 2008/2009. Amsterdam 2008,Hamburg 2009,Sligo 2010,Dublin 2012, Dublin 2013.
John Etherington
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by John Etherington » Fri May 15, 2015 12:33 am

Here's my personal review, which I've put on Amazon:

"Can't Forget" is more than just another live album. The collection contains some of Leonard's finest lesser-played material along with some previously unrecorded live songs from his grand tour. The album opens with "Field Commander Cohen" and it's apparent that Leonard is in great voice with some excellent musical accompaniment by Javier Mas. There is a nice vocal interlude by the ladies, and this version is arguably better than the original studio recording. Next comes the title track "I Can't Forget", which is one of my very favourite Leonard songs. Here, it has some delicate touches of guitar, and a spoken message at the end (which could potentially have made it the last track on the album). The live version does full justice to the original, as does the next track "Light As the Breeze". Organ and harmonica carry this along, as do the vocals of Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.It concludes with a lovely violin solo. Next up is the first previously unrecorded song, a cover of Georges Dor's "La Manic". A marching drum beat leads into a song that is perfectly suited to Leonard's voice. His French vocal sounds very fluent, and the audience respond with a European enthusiasm. This is an outstanding track, and possibly the best on the on the album. "Night Comes On" is another of my all-time favourite Leonard songs. Although the tranquil and transcendent mood of the original is hard to better, this version is very good with prominent Jew's harp, supportive "oohing" from the ladies. and violin again at the end.

The mood changes with the bluesy "Never Gave Nobody Trouble" (recorded at a sound-check) which has Leonard growling along like a latter-day Bob Dylan. There is some nicely-restrained guitar playing on this, and also a strong blues guitar solo. Next comes one of Leonard's greatest compositions "Joan of Arc". I was there when he sang this at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970, and it's been interesting hearing the song at different stages of his career. Hattie Webb has her big moment taking the lead female vocal on this, and she does it admirably. She is joined by her sister Charley for the sublime harmonies that we have come to expect from the Webb Sisters. Next comes "Got a Little Secret" which is a more upbeat blues number, with some energetic organ and drum playing. It's good to see that Felicity Buirski (a beautiful Cohenesque singer) gets credited for her lyrical inspiration. This is followed by another fine cover song "Choices", which was originally recorded by George Jones. This country and western number is another that Leonard manages to make his own, and it's carried along by the drums and organ. Melodically, it's not unsimilar to "You Got Me Singing" from Leonard's last great studio album "Popular Problems". The final track "Stages" has a humorous spoken intro that is a rumination on the various stages of a man's life. It leads into the first two verses of "Tower of Song", concluding with the reference to Hank Williams (maybe where Leonard wanted it to end?). In conclusion, this is a superior live album which showcases the musical skills of Leonard's superb band. The CD contains an attractive booklet with photos, lyrics and band info.
Last edited by John Etherington on Tue May 19, 2015 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Born With The Gift Of A G
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by Born With The Gift Of A G » Fri May 15, 2015 7:36 pm

"Little lady.....I AM Kris Kristofferson....."
London: 10 & 11 May 1993; Manchester: 17, 18, 19 & 20 June 2008; Vienna: 25 September 2008; London: 17 November 2008; Paris: 26 November 2008; Manchester: 30 November 2008; Liverpool: 14 July 2009; Paris: 28 September 2012; Manchester: 31 August 2013; Leeds: 7 September 2013.
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Goldin
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by Goldin » Sun May 17, 2015 7:56 pm

Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Russian Gazzete) - a Russian government daily newspaper:
review by Alexander Alekseyev, "Leonard Cohen has presented two new songs"
http://www.rg.ru/2015/05/14/cohen-site.html
Roman aka Hermitage Prisoner
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by songwriter » Mon May 18, 2015 11:55 am

From that Times review above:

"Cohen also has a tendency to write the same song again and again. Field Commander Cohen is So Long, Marianne with different words; Night Comes On a mere note or two away from Suzanne."

Is this some kind of a joke?
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Goldin
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Re: Can't Forget: reviews of the new album

Post by Goldin » Mon May 25, 2015 8:48 pm

Another Russian review, a good one!

Rolling Stone [Russia]
by Alexey Starostin
http://www.rollingstone.ru/music/review/21795.html
Roman aka Hermitage Prisoner
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