What L.C thing pisses you off

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
kleinschmidt
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What L.C thing pisses you off

Post by kleinschmidt » Sun May 23, 2004 1:00 am

Just thought it would be an interresting topic for everyone to comment on.

Here is my response to an earlier topic concerning Leonard's laughter on the track "First we take Manhattan":

I'm sorry but I don't agree with you guys on Mr. Cohens laugh in "FWTM", sounding good or cool or whatever. It's one of those things that you just have to live with when your a fan of his. It's taggy (don't knoe how to spell that) and much to eightish (80). Cohen sometimes does something with a song that is just plain horrible, almost embarrassing. The laughter on "FWTM", the machine drums on "Ten new songs", the entire "jazz police"... I can't be the only one with this attitude towards some of leonards stuff?
Of course I'm a big fan of Leonard Cohen, and I love alomost everything he's made, but that doesn't mean I have to extol some corny laughter on a, besides the laughter part, great number.
So I guess my question to you all is this: what thing about Leonard Cohen in generally pisses you off?
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Sun May 23, 2004 6:13 am

Hi Kleinschmidt ~

I think maybe "tacky" is the word you're wanting? I'm not sure, but that's what would seem to come the closest to what you've written.

His laughter is much too eightyish? Do you mean like people stopped laughing after the 80s :wink: ? Or, that people laughed a lot on recordings during that time....I don't recall there being a lot of songs out with laughter on them. I thought the laugh was somewhere between a sardonic laugh and a laugh of irony and bemusement. Being given a monkey and a plywood violin would seem to command some sort of atypical response.
Arno
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Post by Arno » Sun May 23, 2004 2:40 pm

dont get me wrong kleinschmidt,
I think your idea of the topic is ok, although I dont know much I dont like about his stuff...
just the laugh I cant find anything bad about that... I think its so unusual in a song and so slicing sarcastic that it almost hurts ;) It projects this feel of superiororoty (this time I got you Liz!!! no word for sure :twisted: ) that runs through the whole song towards his "followers"... great music video btw.


in closing time I dont like the arrangement much... those strings and whole dont do much for me, but the lyrics save it once again ;)

cheers
Arno
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lizzytysh
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Post by lizzytysh » Sun May 23, 2004 3:18 pm

Okay, Arno ~ "Uncle"! It's so near-impossible to pronounce, without sounding inebriated, that I'll let it fall into the non-word pile. However, it did still manage to make its point with its last breath :wink: .

Yeah, not much I can find that I don't like, either. Even the strings and arrangement of Closing Time I find very suited to its subject matter. The ol' country-western bar scene, y'know?
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Vesuvius
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Post by Vesuvius » Mon May 24, 2004 2:24 pm

Ciao Kleinschmidt!

I don't think you will get "many takers" as my American friend sayson this topic.
I know what you mean about the laugh. I don't mind it on Take Manhattan but on the bootlegs where he laughs on Takes this walts or Tower of Song it sounds fakey and dumb. I was playing it once for my sister and when it came to the laugh part she said, "What in the world was that." I said Leonard is laughing. Then we both laughed.

Also, the Jazz Police on the Austin City where he at the end goes,"yow-yoy, yow-yow, yow-yow, yow-yow, yow-yow, yow-yow-yow. He sounds like two cats fighting.


Vesuvius
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tomsakic
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Post by tomsakic » Wed May 26, 2004 1:14 am

Hi Kleinschmidt,
I think that the stuff you don't like, as you listed, are quite good, especially the laugh which is not cool, but mere apocalyptical, I saw people, not LC-fans, which were terrified when they saw the video. Jazz Police sounds great when you hear the live versions from bootlegs.
Anyway, I do have "the stuff that piss me of". Let's say Fingerprints. I simply can't stand that song. Ruins the bizzare-but-great album. Then, Why Don't You Try (what's that doing on Field Commander Cohen?) I think that song is pretty unfair, I just feel something wrong and some kind of lie in that song.
And, last but not least, Always, on The Future.
Three throwaway in 100 songs, not much. Especcially when you think about hills of shit Bob dylan made in his career.
take care,
Tom.
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lightning
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Post by lightning » Wed May 26, 2004 2:39 am

"Always" on The Future seems banal, insincere and beneath the poet. Wonder why it's there.
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Post by Arno » Wed May 26, 2004 10:24 am

Hi tom,

I just wanna say something about Why dont you try. This is not supposed to attack you or your opinion, its just my take on the song.

In a way you are right, it is kinda unfair, but the situation he describes is a state where two people have almost become enemies and if you look at the song as a description of an affair in that situation I think it becomes clearer.
In a way I can relate very much to this song since I'm currently in a situation similar and I see those mood swings taking place every other day... one day you put her on a throne and kneel before her, the next day you shout at the wall that this "bi***h" shall leave you alone and let you go, so you can start something new... I'm not saying anything of this is fair (she's not that great and not that evil ;) ) but its just the way it is.

So, if looked at objectively it is unfair and it has a lie in it, but if you put yourself in the singers shoes you might understand what it means for him. The song depicts him in this state of mind where one projects his anger that one cant get out of her spell onto her and therefore it naturally sounds angry.
You're of course free to like the song or not, I just wanted to explain that this song has its fans ;)

btw, when you look at the other songs and poems from this time, the different moods become clearer:

take this longing from my tongue
I tried to leave you, I closed the book on us a hundred times
etc



take care,
Arno
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greta
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Post by greta » Wed May 26, 2004 12:34 pm

I like most of LCs songs but there are some that i don't like.
Always, for example and also There ain't no cure for love. These songs are just..i don't know...i don't like the lyrics nor the melody.. they don't have LC's usual depth(just my opinion)
I hated jazz police too but after listening to abut 3 or 4 times, it sounded better. it is not a good song but it's okay.
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Rob
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Post by Rob » Wed May 26, 2004 12:39 pm

Maybe "pisses you off" is putting it a wee bit too strongly, but "More best of" tagging on two previously unreleased songs. Or buying a cd of 11 songs I already had.
Rob
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Vesuvius
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Post by Vesuvius » Wed May 26, 2004 2:35 pm

Ciao Lightning!


I agree also about Always. I did not like the strip-joint timing to the song. I like my Irving Berlin old-fashioned, please. :) Also the fakey repartee amongst the back-ground singers make my fur stand up. It sounded like it was added to the mix. I bet it was all Rebecca's idea.



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Post by username » Thu May 27, 2004 1:58 am

I hate quite a bit of the stuff on the album "I'm your man"...I dunno, a lot of that albums sounds very 80s, and that's an awfull thing. From the saxaphone at the beginning of "aint no cure", the awfull chorus part in "first we take manhattan", all of "jazz police" and also pretty much all of "i can't forget". On the other hand I adore all the other moments on the album, because they escape the 80s cliche quite brilliantly. There are also a few things I don't like on "10 new songs", like "boogie street" for example.

What I find curious is that "various positions" somehow doesn't sound 80s at all....ok, except for the programmed drum on "dance me to the end of love"
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Vesuvius
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Post by Vesuvius » Thu May 27, 2004 3:17 pm

Ciao Username!


Good observation about the chorus on Take Manhattan. That is the only part of the song I do not like. It sounds like ABBA on acid.

While I'm on a roller, I also thought the line "that's how the light gets in" (the musical phrase, not the words) sounded somehow incomplete the first time I heard it. Unfinished. It sounded like it cut off the previous musical phrases. Of course, I have listened to it so often that now it sounds right. But that was not my first impression. I think Rebecca rushed him. Have you seen the video tape where it shows her and Leonard listening to "Anthem." She is sitting (at the keyboard I think) and he is standing behind her. They are listening to it. She has her eyes closed in esctasy, meditating and grooving on the song. She was "acting" up a storm. Leonard looked somber and pensive. Maybe he was "acting" too!

I do like "I Can't forget."


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jurica
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Post by jurica » Thu May 27, 2004 4:13 pm

it's impossible to please everybody.
we're all LC's fans, and look how we differ:
kleinschmidt hates laughter on FWTM, and jazz police. - i LOVE them both.
i like fingerprints too, but i agree with Tom that Why Don't You Try and Always are quite irritating. thank God for CDs and skip button.
greta added There ain't no cure for love, and i agree. not so much 'bad' as 'boring' that one.

here are my other favorites (the ones that i use skip button on):
The Lost Canadian (Un Canadien Errant) --- i can't speak French
Tacoma Trailer
Be For Real
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peter danielsen
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Post by peter danielsen » Thu May 27, 2004 5:21 pm

The main thing that pisses me of about LC is that he doesnt release a new album every saturday. I mean how difficult can it possible be. You sit down write down the lyrics, find som good chords and ad a perfect melody, and bingo you have a new song. Really Leonard, we dont wanna get tough on you, but you are only closing in on 70 its not like youre an old man or something. If you dont release an album soon, I shall have to do it myself, and one doesnt want to blow ones own trumpet( plastic by the way in my case)

Peter
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