Generally, I think this is a beautiful and moving collection. Hearing Anjani's spare but thoughtful arrangements behind Leonard's (or Anjani and Leonard's) words is like seeing a familiar person dressed in new clothes.
For me the best track by far is Golden Gate, as it marries a typcially Cohenesque use of effortless symbolism and understatement with an achingly poignant musical arrangement. The closing line "And nothing has failed" succeeds in being utterly simple and deeply affecting. I also love the snipe at 'Indian teachers' (nothing against Indians or teachers in general, you understand). For me, this song joins the pantheon of classics which perfectly describe the plangency of a love affair ending - it's up there with Diamonds and Rust, I think.
There are moments of startling and brilliant imagery, particularly on the title track, of playfulness (as in Thanks for the Dance, albeit of a somewhat bitter shade) and of delighted recognition (Mist and Nightingale).
The only dreary song for me is Half the Perfect World, but then I think there's at least 1 duff track on each Cohen album.
Respect and envy to and of those who you who have seen Anjani live.
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