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Old Ideas (Vinyl) Limited Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • LP Record (Jan. 31 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Sony Music Canada - Vinyl
  • ASIN: B0068DZSTG
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,672 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Going Home
2. Amen
3. Show Me The Place
4. The Darkness
5. Anyhow
6. Crazy To Love You
7. Come Healing
8. Banjo
9. Lullaby
10. Different Sides

Product Description

Vinyl LP pressing includes a CD of the album. 2012 album from master singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. Here are 10 new songs that mine the heart, shake the body and break the boundaries as everybody knows only Leonard can do. A signature of our time, Leonard's baritone holds us like the voices of Hank, Frank and Ray. These are songs that nobody knows and everyone will treasure. The album was produced with Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo. Complementing Cohen's signature baritone on Old Ideas are the exceptional vocalists Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley Webb) and Jennifer Warnes. The album's cover design and drawings are Cohen's own.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gary Fuhrman TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 4 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leonard Cohen has been old for a long time, yet it seems that something even older has been speaking through his voice for even longer. "I know my days are few", says the voice in one of these new songs, and those of us past 60 will perhaps best appreciate that feeling. But a deeper and far more universal feeling has come across in Cohen's music ever since his first album, and it's never been more authentic than it is in "Old Ideas".

What's old about this record, and yet again renewed, is "the penitential hymn" and the plea for mercy from an unbending Law and a Lord whose grace is given but rarely. Cohen's persona is at once the victim, the perpetrator and the observer, but never the innocent bystander, of life in this world -- rather a withstander, who stands with the rest of us even when we stand against each other. His time-ravaged voice, his words polished as rocks left behind by a glacier long ago, "gather up the brokenness" of all our hearts.

This time around we have ten songs of three to five minutes each, and every one is deeply resonant. As usual with Cohen, but more than ever here, the boundary line between speaking and singing, between poem and song, almost disappears. Yet this album is surprisingly tuneful -- not upbeat of course, but achingly melodic, and the arrangements bring this out with a variety of contributions from solo violin, cornet and other instruments. Indeed this is more varied musically than many of Cohen's records, each song having its own sound, and as we learn from the liner notes, its own set of producers, arrangers, engineers and musicians collaborating with Cohen. The women's voices (including those of Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, the Webb Sisters, and Jennifer Warnes) are especially and variously wonderful here.
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Format: Audio CD
This review will address the big question: is Old Ideas a proper Leonard Cohen album like The Future, his last (20 years ago) great effort? The only thing on the two studio albums subsequent to The Future that matched any of his highs was "In My Secret Life", deceptive opener to 2001's Ten New Songs. That track had rinky-dink instrumentation and eternal truth in just the right combination, the kind that floored listeners of the album I'm Your Man.

It's of course silly to complain that Laughing Len sings about death too much. Death is one of the life forces of poetry, Leonard's other great line of work. Death is an understandable preoccupation of almost all art, and just about every kind of music apart from the fluffiest pop consciously drenches itself in it. So, that Cohen studies the process and ideas of death is unremarkable in itself.

The old ham has been closing down, ageing and dying with particular vigour for nearly quarter of a century, though. It's a paradoxically sincere shtick, and it began in earnest with "I Can't Forget" and "Tower Of Song".

Death is closer than ever. Leonard Cohen has had to come out of retirement for Old Ideas and these poetic last throes are, in line with the natural order of things, more real than ever.

How well put are the goodbyes on Old Ideas, though, given that Leonard Cohen said them all a few times a long time ago, eased himself into retirement, artistically said hello to death, all that? Do "Going Home" and what follows make for a curious encore?

Leonard Cohen is markedly paradoxical. His lavish humility tells you he's long sustained a tremendous ego. If he leaks self-aggrandisement in the studio, he does so most in his penchant for anthems. A couple turn up on Old Ideas.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album recently and am completely hooked. I've been listening to it over and over again. I pretty much grew up with his music over the years and have seen his voice change, but the quality of poetry never does. I guess that is one aspect that has ruled supreme since his emergence from McGill university years ago. This is not just good songwriting, but complex poetry and emotions put forward simply through haunting melodies. Thank God for the liner notes with this CD as the words resonate crystal clear. It is whispered in your ear with melody and sometimes ...just a word whisper, slowly softly. Lenny Cohen is always reflective and self critical, even when he is commenting on society in general, and this one comes out right on top. Love it. I hope here is a message in this for record companies that have pushed an excessive amount of (c)rap with bad poetry, hip hop with uncontrolled angst and low level pop for mass consumption. After many years and decades of suffering (and perhaps led by You Tube revival), good melody, good poetry and just mature creation by the Masters is back. Thank God for 'old ideas'.
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Format: Audio CD
" I love to speak with Leonard,
He's a sportsman and a shepherd
He's a lazy bastard
Living in a suit

But he does say what I tell him
Even though it isn't welcome
He just doesn't have the freedom
To refuse "

... and so begins Leonard Cohen's new album, "Old Ideas". Is it the voice of his higher Self, his conscience or even the voice of God himself, speaking about the singer-songwriter? Does Cohen see himself as a reluctant conduit for the Divine Will? There have been many such allusions in his songs before, so why not especially now? After another such verse Cohen's own "voice" itself answers,

" Going home
Without my sorrow
Going home
Some time tomorrow

Going home
Without my burden
Going home
Behind the curtain

Going home
Without the costume
That I wore"

With this song he sets the stage and calls the tune for a deeply moving, entirely naked meditation on the gooseflesh-inducing nearness of mortality, HIS mortality. For "Old Ideas" is just that - a characteristically candid and disarmingly clear series of thoughts that can only come from a deeply inward artist as he looks squarely into the promises, sadnesses, mysteries and even reliefs, of death. After all, could that be her, the black Angel of Death on the cover, with her shadow looming discomfortingly close to Cohen as he sits, seemingly unconcerned? "Old Ideas" are the thoughts and ruminations that are privy to the elderly - for their special place of experience can only truly be known deep in the flesh and heart of that time of life.
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