To celebrate his 82nd birthday, Leonard Cohen gifts us with news of a new LP, You Want It Darker, set to release on October 21st. This will be Cohen’s 14th studio album since Popular Problems (2014) and fans are simultaneously thrilled and worried that it may be his ‘swan song’.
Cohen delves deep in this rasp spoken-word track, accompanied by the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogoue Choir, with backing vocals by Montreal’s Cantor Gideon Zelermyer. With lyrics that read: “If thine is the glory then mine must be the shame/ You want it darker, we kill the flame…There’s a lover in the story/but the story’s still the same/there’s a lullaby for suffering/and a paradox to blame” describing the track as a “hypnotic groove… an unflinching exploration of the religious mind” is accurate.
A press release summarized each song as follows:
One of Cohen’s signature melodies. A confession of the selfishness of love and the hope of a correction.
3. On the Level
An old man’s take on desire.
4. Leaving the Table
A slow, relentless, and somehow joyous ballad of letting it all go by. A guitar solo you will remember.
5. If I Didn’t Have Your Love
A classic Cohen love song: the deep gratitude felt by one heart opening to another.
6. Traveling Light
A seeker hits the road and finds the joys of solitude.
7. It Seemed the Better Way
The feeling of a prayer that’s been there forever, but the spiritual comforts of the past no longer available.
8. Steer Your Way
A song of courage as the heart moves into the darkness.
9. String Reprise/Treaty
A brilliant reimagining of “Treaty” as a string quartet; a truly glorious moment ending with a few words from Leonard himself.
Have a listen to Leonard Cohen’s haunting new track…