Popular Problems - Album Reviews

This section is dedicated to the new studio album and the Dublin concert video
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sturgess66
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby sturgess66 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:09 pm

http://m.gulfnews.com/entertainment/mus ... -1.1387720
MUSIC Leonard Cohen on turning 80 and his new album

Canadian-born poet and songwriter also alludes to conflict and genocide on ‘Popular Problems’
AFP
September 21, 2014
Image
Image Credit: AFP

Releasing a new album near his 80th birthday, Leonard Cohen cheekily addresses his age in the very first song, intoning, “It’s not because I’m old ... I always liked it slow.”

The legendary poet and songwriter nonetheless glides confidently through a gamut of themes and styles on the album Popular Problems, ruminating in his husky and undiminished voice on war, loss and his own spiritual odyssey.

The Canadian-born talent turns 80 on Sunday, two days before the release of Popular Problems. But Cohen said that the timing of his 13th studio album — his first since 2012 that comes decades after classic songs such as Hallelujah and So Long, Marianne — was coincidental.

On the latest album, Cohen invokes Hurricane Katrina in Samson in New Orleans, lamenting the destruction of jazz’s birthplace: “You said you loved her secrets / And her freedoms hid away / She was better than America / That’s what I heard you say.”

In one of the more striking musical passages, Cohen brings in plaintive Arabic snippets of a female singer in Nevermind, in which he bemoans the anonymity of war victims with verses such as, “The story’s told with facts and lies / I had a name / But never mind.”

Cohen, previewing the album at a New York nightclub, said the woman’s voice represented “the oppressed” who are absent from public discourse.

“Generally speaking, nothing anybody says in public anymore nourishes or resonates with any authentic sense that you have about things,” Cohen explained.

“So, same way about Syria or the general catastrophe that confronts us now. So that voice comes out of that unrepresented majority of people,” he said.

Cohen, who declined to speak further on world affairs, has long mourned bloodshed in songs such as the Vietnam War-era Story of Isaac. He has pleaded for peace in the Middle East but has also defied calls to boycott Israel.

Enjoying the return to music

Elsewhere on the new album, Cohen alludes to war and genocide — and, incongruously, “all my bad reviews” — and says of them with dark irony, “Lord, it’s almost like the blues.”

Cohen, who is Jewish as well as an ordained Zen Buddhist monk, delves into the Biblical story of Exodus on the Gospel-backed Born in Chains.

The album even veers into bluegrass on Did I Ever Love You, providing light interludes in a severe song that features the verse, “The lemon trees blossom / The almond trees wither / Was I ever someone who could love you forever?”

Cohen co-wrote most songs on Popular Problems with Patrick Leonard, who is best known for producing smash hit albums for Madonna including True Blue and Like a Prayer.

While his creative energies remain intense, Cohen in the past has not denied that his motivation for recording new albums and a series of global tours since 2008 has been partly financial.

In 2004, he accused his longtime manager of stealing $5 million (Dh18.3 million) from him when he was living in seclusion at a California monastery, leaving him with little in his retirement nest.

But Cohen, who struggled for years with depression, said that he has benefited from the itinerant life of touring.

“Getting back on the road has improved my mood considerably because I was never very good at civilian life,” he said at the New York club.

Asked about his plans as an octogenarian, Cohen said, perhaps tongue-in-cheek, that he had long intended to resume smoking at age 80, divulging his craving for a strong Greek or Turkish cigarette.

“I’m looking forward to that first smoke,” he said.

“I’ve been thinking about it for about 30 years. It’s one of the few consistent strains of thought that I’ve been able to locate.”
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FOXWOOD
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby FOXWOOD » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:17 pm

***** Review Daily Telegraph

(I couldn't find this on line)
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Royal Albert Hall London 1988, Manchester Opera House 18th June 2008,
Manchester Arena 30th Nov 2008, Weybridge 11th July 2009,
Lissadell House 31st July 2010, Dublin 11th & 12th September 2012, London O2 21st June 2013,
Manchester Arena 31st Aug 2013,Leeds 7th September 2013
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FOXWOOD
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby FOXWOOD » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:18 pm

4.JPG
Royal Albert Hall London 1988, Manchester Opera House 18th June 2008,
Manchester Arena 30th Nov 2008, Weybridge 11th July 2009,
Lissadell House 31st July 2010, Dublin 11th & 12th September 2012, London O2 21st June 2013,
Manchester Arena 31st Aug 2013,Leeds 7th September 2013
Born With The Gift Of A G
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby Born With The Gift Of A G » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:35 pm

The Sunday Times
21st September 2014


LEONARD COHEN

Popular Problems


Columbia


“Slow is in my blood,” Leonard Cohen sings on his new album. Really? Slow certainly used to be in his blood, but he seems to have picked up the pace recently. It’s only two years since his last album, and he claims that he and his co-writer, Patrick Leonard, have another one half-finished already. (The songwriting credit is, presumably, “All songs by Leonard Cohen, or Leonard/Cohen”.) This is excellent news, because the mature Cohen remains a class act — much like the younger version, but with more female backup vocals and with the sly grin a little more obvious, as on Almost Like the Blues. “There’s torture and there’s killing,” he sings, “and there’s all my bad reviews.”

Author: Mark Edwards
"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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jerry
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby jerry » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:11 pm

I'm really surprised at all the negative reviews on Amazon UK.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews ... Descending
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen
cohenadmirer
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby cohenadmirer » Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:04 pm

jerry wrote:I'm really surprised at all the negative reviews on Amazon UK.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews ... Descending

To be honest on first hearing i would have given it 2 or 3 stars ,mainly because the production didnt initially appeal .
Listened to it several times now and i love it - would be 5 stars now
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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Zimmy66
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby Zimmy66 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:25 pm

I'm going to get 'pelters' for this on here but I don't like the production at all. It's lazy.

The poetry and words are all Leonard's. But the rest? Amateurish.

You Got Me Singing is the best track on the album.

Why doesn't Leonard get his 'touring band' into the studio with him? All of these songs/poems would sound so much better.
Robert
To live outside the law you must be honest
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jerry
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby jerry » Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:50 pm

Zimmy66 wrote:I'm going to get 'pelters' for this on here but I don't like the production at all. It's lazy.

The poetry and words are all Leonard's. But the rest? Amateurish.

You Got Me Singing is the best track on the album.

Why doesn't Leonard get his 'touring band' into the studio with him? All of these songs/poems would sound so much better.
Robert
I guess it's gotten to the point for me where I focus so much on the words and voice that the cheezy electronic drone doesn't bother me so much anymore. The words come from deep within. The music should sound organic to match the words. It should be played by human beings. Instead much of the music lately sounds electronic and computer generated and it doesn't do justice to the words at all.
Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
Leonard Cohen
JudasPriest
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby JudasPriest » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:03 pm

I'd definitely prefer the full band but can live with the way it is on this album. Sounds a lot more organic than many of his other synth based albums.
JudasPriest
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby JudasPriest » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:53 pm

Have Uncut or Mojo reviewed the album yet?
DRosenrot
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby DRosenrot » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:41 pm

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Cheshire gal
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby Cheshire gal » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:27 am

I received my copy today. After listening to it a few times, I think right now, 'A Street' is my favorite song after 'Almost Like the Blues' which I have been listening to since it was streamed. Leonard's voice sounds fantastic, I love the raspy bluesy sound. The music also is excellent and the singers add a great deal to each song. Like all his albums, they get better as you listen to them. He really has a wonderful way with words.
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
DRosenrot
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby DRosenrot » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:12 am

Links are from metacritic.

From: The New York Times 70. Don't know where did they get that information.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/23/arts/ ... omack.html

From: Paste Magazine 95

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2 ... eview.html
cohenadmirer
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby cohenadmirer » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:18 pm

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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jeremek
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Re: Popular Problems - Album Reviews

Postby jeremek » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:08 pm

JazzForum 9-2014.jpg
rev.by Daniel Wyszogrodzki
1985/2008/2010/2013/Always

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