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New Skin for the Old Ceremony Import

18 customer reviews

Price: £9.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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£9.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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BIOGRAPHY
For four decades, Leonard Cohen has been one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater depths of mystery and meaning as time goes on. His songs have set a virtually unmatched standard in their seriousness and range. Sex, spirituality, religion, power – he has relentlessly examined the largest issues in human ... Read more in Amazon's Leonard Cohen Store

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New Skin for the Old Ceremony + Songs from a Room + Songs Of Love And Hate
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Import
  • ASIN: B0000BZNI2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 349,765 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Is This What You Wanted
2. Chelsea Hotel No. 2
3. Lover, Lover, Lover
4. Field Commander Cohen
5. Why Don't You Try
6. There Is a War
7. Singer Must Die
8. I Tried to Leave You
9. Who by Fire
10. Take This Longing
11. Leaving Greensleeves

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A fellow creature on 15 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
To my mind this is Cohen's best album, achieving an impressive coherence of vision and texture whilst offering more variety of musical tone and timbre than any of his other (not inconsiderable) works. The arrangements are beautifully fitting, the instrumentation is subtle but much richer than on the preceding acoustic guitar oriented albums, and Cohen is in terrific voice, raw with unsuppressed rage and regret on 'Is This What You Wanted' and 'Leaving Greensleeves'. Casual or cloth-eared listeners hold that the Cohen worldview is depressing, but 'New Skin' is ripe with Len's characteristic dark wit and irreverent wordplay, affirming language and melody as (albeit flimsy) bulwarks against life's inevitable humiliations. The songs revel in the bitter comedy of sex and love and the recurrent theme is relationships as war, with the self-styled 'Field Commander Cohen' invariably among the vanquished. But insead of the standard self-pity of the sensitive singer-songwriter, Cohen offers us ironically humorous dissections of his own compromised motives and dirty psychic undercurrents, as well as those of his usually victorious partners. Love is always tinged with hate, adoration with contempt and desire with disgust, so that in the end even the winners in the battle of the sexes are victims of their own worst impulses. As he declares in 'There Is A War', there can be no armistice; the only option is to return to the front and prepare for the next defeat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This fourth studio album from the master of the singer/songwriter genre, Leonard Cohen, is a bit of a departure form his previous three releases, and one that, for me, works well. Previously famed for a Spartan approach to music, here he uses a wider variety of backing instruments to provide a rich musical palette from which to make his arrangements. However, even though the arrangements are lusher and more intricate, the basics of Cohen's style remain unchanged. The heart of each track is Cohen's intimate, almost poetic, lyrics. Telling intensely personal stories, with tales of love, loss, regret and a degree of political activism, each verse feels lovingly crafted with each word placed carefully for maximum effect. Cohen's style is intelligent, literate and with the occasional flash of humour, making for some memorable lines.

In tone and style it is quite different to Cohen's early output, but this is no bad thing. Life is about change and evolving, and Cohen's style has definitely evolved through the years, with each new album another step along his road of discovery. It is a journey without a destination, and we should be thankful for being allowed to follow. Some people dislike the change, but personally I think his albums are all the better for it - we'd have all got bored long ago if every album he ever made sounded just like the last one. For me this was a step along the road that worked well, and a classic album resulted.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gerrida on 25 May 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've read the chapter on Leonard Cohen in Edward Whitelock's book Apocalypse Jukebox: The End of the World in American Popular Music, and now have a much better understanding of this album. These songs were mostly written in the time when Cohen's relationship with Suzanne Elrod was nearing its end. There was much frustration and anger, bitterness and self-criticism as the singer wanted to move on with his life but couldn't do so until their problems had been sorted out, and these emotions were expressed in some of the songs.

The lyrics on New Skin might sound simplistic at first hearing but are rich in meaning and need to be listened to with care. They mostly deal with the disappointment and disillusionment of love that has gone wrong. In my opinion not one of Cohen's best, but this is considered by some a very important album because those to follow would take a different direction, ie that of prophetic and apocalyptic views on the future.

I would recommend this album to all those who love Leonard Cohen and would want to complete their collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GlynLuke TOP 100 REVIEWER on 6 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD
Musically, this must be Leonard Cohen`s most varied album. With the hugely talented long-term Cohen cohort John Lissauer arranging as well as playing woodwinds and keyboards, and a real departure from the singer`s previous records, this is not only one of his lesser-known albums, but one of his most intriguing.
Is This What You Wanted is another in a long line of Cohen`s songs about men and women (has any other songwriter paid so much attention to the subject?) and is a jerky number that opens New Skin in arresting style.
Chelsea Hotel #2 - which I vividly remember him singing for the first time on tour back then, only with slightly different words - is a bittersweet little song about a sexual encounter with Janis Joplin in the fabled New York hotel:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
You were talkin` so brave and so sweet

What happens next I`ll leave for those new to this song to discover.
Lover Lover Lover is a fast-paced, frantically sung plea-in-song, with Cohen and his musicians going at it for dear life.
Field Commander Cohen, written in the wake of a vain attempt by a disenchanted Cohen (with a wife and a child or two back in Montreal) to join the Israeli army, is a typically self-deprecating ditty with a droll lyric:

Field Commander Cohen, he was our most important spy
Wounded in the line of duty
Parachuting acid into diplomatic cocktail parties...

Trust me, it sounds better than it reads!
Why Don`t You Try and There Is A War are both relatively obsure songs in the Cohen canon, the latter a musically fascinating song about wars of all kinds - `between the left and right` and `a war between the man and the woman` with the pay-off line an optimistic `Why don`t you come on back to the war...
Read more ›
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