Review : Leonard Cohen - Live In London
EwAt 74, Leonard Cohen may no longer be — as he sings on ''So Long, Marianne'' — cold as a new razor blade. But listening to this double CD, recorded last summer, it's clear he's still cool as a cucumber. Both an older, wiser counterpart to The Essential Leonard Cohen and, based on one recent concert, a quip-forquip preview of his spring tour, Live in London is a reminder that Cohen is as gifted a performer as he is a songwriter...full text
MusicomhWith hindsight, perhaps a Leonard Cohen track wasn't such a weird choice for The X Factor winner's song. After all, "I've been on such a journey" is the inevitable reprise from any reality TV contestant worth their salt - and nobody's been on a journey like Leonard Cohen has.
It was 13 years ago that the Canadian songwriter appeared to turn his back on a unlikely late career renaissance, instead taking a vow of silence and travelling to mountains to become a Buddhist monk. After years of meditating in the hills, he returned home, recorded a couple of more albums, and then discovered in 2005 that he'd been swindled out of the vast majority of his retirement fund and publishing rights, leaving him a relative pauper.
So it was that a 70-something Cohen embarked on an gruelling stadium tour of Europe, delighting old fans and engaging with a whole new generation of admirers. The unlikely finale to 2008 was that of not one, but two, versions of one of his most famous songs Hallelujah taking up residence in the Top 3, thus easily repaying the money that was stolen from him....full text
PopmastersThe loss of five million dollars can light a fire underneath anyone, even a serene, 74-year-old Buddhist poet/singer-songwriter, but to Leonard Cohen’s great credit, not only did he refuse to wither away after being swindled out of his savings and royalties by his former manager, but in the past year he’s returned to the stage, exhibiting a level of passion, verve, and grace that’s caught even his longtime fans by surprise.
When 2008 rolled around, it had been 15 years since the Canadian legend last toured (in support of his great 1992 album The Future), but with the help of a brilliant nine-piece supporting band, he headed back on the road with gusto, playing more than 60 dates in Eastern Canada, the UK, and Europe. By the time Cohen and band played to a huge crowd of 20,000 at London’s O2 Arena on July 17th, they were well-oiled, two months into the big comeback tour, and with recording and film crews there to capture the event, they went on to deliver a spellbinding, seductive, pristine, near-three-hour set that spanned the man’s 40-year musical career. And now nine months later, in addition to being a fine teaser for Cohen’s extensive North American tour this spring, that London performance has yielded one of the finest live albums to come our way in a long while....full text
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