How do people not *get* him?

Ask and answer questions about Leonard Cohen, his work, this forum and the websites!
adunn
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by adunn » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:13 pm

I don't get Michael Jackson. That's ok because it's pop. Arguing about pop is like saying I like chocolate, you like vanilla: de gustibus non est disputandum. Poetry, however, is something different. It universalises from the particular - an argument can be made for its quality. LC's lyrics speak to those who can/choose to listen. Every time I listen to my favourite LC songs it's like blowing on a dying ember to reignite some kind of empathy with what I have experienced, wish I did, or commiserate because I wish I never did. Like all great artists L.C. is trying to get himself, and in so doing reminds us of our aspiration to do the same - only few of us have the tools to do it so eloquently.
Steven
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by Steven » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:13 pm

Hi,

Some people don't get Leonard Cohen because they are afraid of, or are out of touch with
some of their own emotions.
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mutti
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by mutti » Sun Sep 06, 2009 7:31 pm

I like what you said Adunn...resonates with how I feel.
Mutti
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adunn
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by adunn » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:52 pm

Thanks Mutti. It was late at night here (I must have clicked the wrong time zone) and I woke up witha fuzzy head thinking I may have came across a bit pretentious using the Latin and all. While it's the best explanation I can give, I wish I could have phrased it in a more succinct Cohenite way. Nice to know someone out there can relate, and I shouldn't have worried too much due to the intellectual calibre of Leonard Cohen fans!
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david birkett
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by david birkett » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:42 pm

Let's be frank. Cohen's voice is not the most immediately appealing to all ears.

This aside, however, I think that the most formidable obstacle between many music listeners and the land of Cohenite Nirvana is the complexity, range of reference and - very occasionally - pretentiousness of the lyrics. In many songs, especially to people who are used to and depend on hearing lyrics with a lack of ambition amounting to imbecility, it is not even clear what the surface meaning is, let alone what interwoven strands lie beneath. While this is a positive asset for many Cohen adherents, it is never going to be the route to mass popularity.

I wonder also if Cohen chose not to lend himself to as aggressive and efficient a publicity machine as was brought to bear on the careers of people like Dylan or even Donovan, or whether Cohen simply lacks an easy 'image' that can be so marketed. I'm still astonished not only by the number of people who aren't devotees but who don't even know who he is.

In a world where Dan Brown is a cultural phenomenon, it will probably be ever thus.


David
The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.
Parsifal
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by Parsifal » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:22 pm

david birkett wrote:Let's be frank. Cohen's voice is not the most immediately appealing to all ears.

This aside, however, I think that the most formidable obstacle between many music listeners and the land of Cohenite Nirvana is the complexity, range of reference and - very occasionally - pretentiousness of the lyrics. In many songs, especially to people who are used to and depend on hearing lyrics with a lack of ambition amounting to imbecility, it is not even clear what the surface meaning is, let alone what interwoven strands lie beneath. While this is a positive asset for many Cohen adherents, it is never going to be the route to mass popularity.

I wonder also if Cohen chose not to lend himself to as aggressive and efficient a publicity machine as was brought to bear on the careers of people like Dylan or even Donovan, or whether Cohen simply lacks an easy 'image' that can be so marketed. I'm still astonished not only by the number of people who aren't devotees but who don't even know who he is.

In a world where Dan Brown is a cultural phenomenon, it will probably be ever thus.


David
Probably all true. Dylan and (indeed) Donovan had very aggressive managers who put their clients over in a certain way. Cohen has never had high visibility managers (well, maybe not until Kelley Lynch.... :roll: ) and has tended to be an artist who is 'discovered' through others. I imagine he benefits greatly from the Genius facility on itunes and the similar thingy on Spotify.
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FOXWOOD
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by FOXWOOD » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:54 pm

Leonard's work is not easy to get into.
My wife likes his lyrics but not his voice (Something I can't understand at all).
His songs are not pop songs - they do not have a catchy couple of lines repeated numerous times throughout the song.
I came across my eldest son playing "Who by fire" last night - the first time he has played a Cohen song - I heard him singing the "Who by" bits as this was all he knew.
The songs are not easy - but nothing worthwhile is. How many times did you have to listen to the "Dear Heather" cd before you got to know the songs?
Why does "The Beat" ( A dreadful UK Police drama/soap) get far more viewers than "The Wire" it is because it is easy to watch and requires no effort and no thought.
People who think enjoy Leonard Cohen. Most people wouldn't put the effort in. If you don't think about the lyrics then he is no better than anyone else and a lot of people would argue that is voice is alot worse.
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LEONKA
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by LEONKA » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:31 pm

When I no mood listen to music Mr.Leonard.The come other ideas. Mr.Leonard survived the hard life and continues beautiful.His music heals my mind when I think of Leonard.Mr.Leonard is music for people that were sad as I am.Therefore,I love music Mr.Leonard.His beautiful eyes,love and charizma that radiates from Leonard.Who does not understand the music so do not understand.Live taste in his music.His music is my life. :( :(
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LEONKA
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Re: How do people not *get* him?

Post by LEONKA » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:11 am

When I am sad,I listen to music from Leonard. :(
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