Thursday, March 22, 2007

Leonard Cohen - Songs from a Room

Decade - 1960's

Leonard Cohen - Songs from a Room

I've had sporadic exposure to Leonard Cohen before this and always found his songwriting interesting and challenging and mostly quite beautiful. I'm not usually a fan of singer/songwriters with questionable vocal abilities (Tom *cough* Waits) but sometimes it works fine and doesn't distract me at all. Sometimes having a "normal" voice gives a song more an emotional edge, makes it more human. This is the case with Cohen.

I doubt this is his best album, going by what I've heard before, and the reviews I read. It's still a solidly good album though and Cohen really is one of the best songwriters, ever, and a master at writing personal, reflective songs about pain and solitude and some rather odd people. The weakness of this particular album is that the most of the melodies just aren't particularly compelling.

It's also a bit uneven in quality. The Story of Isaac is brilliant (and the line Thought I saw an eagle/but it might have heen a vulture" is chilling), but others just don't stack up to what he's capable of. Still, I'm a sucker for dark, melancholy, intelligent songwriting, so it still gets a thumbs up.

Score - 8/10

Genre - singer/songwriter, folk

Best Tracks - Story of Isaac, Bird on a Wire, Lady Midnight

Recommended - Yes


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