Leonard Cohen: "You Want It Darker" (Columbia/Sony): This is the opening number on and title track of a new Cohen album, set for Oct. 21 release., and it's already creating a media stir.
To these ears, on early listens it emerges as one of the strongest new tunes the master has created in quite some time. The press notes accurately describe it this way: "Hypnotic groove. The surprise of a great synagogue choir. An unflinching exploration of the religious mind.”
The sparse setting employed by producer Adam Cohen (yes son of Leonard) nicely complements the world-weary yet still compelling Cohen voice, while lines like "a million candles burning for the help that never came" capture the imagination in typically Cohen-esque fashion.
Cohen turned 82 yesterday, and mortality is clearly on his mind. At one point in the song he intones "I'm ready my Lord," suggesting he's about to meet his maker. We sure hope that doesn't happen for a long time, given his continued creative potency.