Review: Leonard Cohen, ‘Old Ideas’

Review: Grace Woodroofe, ‘Always Want’: Aidin Vaziri | Leonard Cohen’s first new album in eight years arrives with typically dubious artwork and bad production. As evidenced by the countless versions of “Hallelujah” floating in the cosmos – of which the songwriter’s tinny original is easily the worst – it’s the essence of the master’s material that matters most, not the delivery. On “Old Ideas,” only his 12th studio album since 1967, Cohen continues to conjure potent songs of longing, loss and spiritual redemption. A familiar streak of defeat runs through his depressive baritone, which, at 77, has never sounded more parched. “The Darkness” and “Show Me the Place” feel like classics, although the sheer number of producers and backing vocalists on board can’t help but make you long for the days before his ideas got so grand.

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