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New Skin For The Old Ceremony CD


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Biography

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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Frequently Bought Together

New Skin For The Old Ceremony + Songs from a Room + Songs Of Love And Hate
Price For All Three: £17.55

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 April 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony Music Entertainment
  • ASIN: B000024CRD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Is This What You Wanted
2. Chelsea Hotel #2
3. Lover Lover Lover
4. Field Commander Cohen
5. Why Don't You Try
6. There Is a War
7. A Singer Must Die
8. I Tried to Leave You
9. Who By Fire
10. Take This Longing
11. Leaving Green Sleeves

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 Sep 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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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Dec 2001
Format: Audio CD
New Skin For The Old Ceremony represents the artist's open break with the early folk simplicity of his classic albums Songs Of Leonard Cohen, Songs From A Room and Songs of Love and Hate (on which a harder sound already surfaced on tracks like Diamonds In The Mine). It harnesses a wider array of instruments including trombones, viola, banjo, percussion, mandolin, woodwinds and trumpet. Emily Bindiger, Erin Dickins & co-producer John Lissauer contribute backing vocals.

This fuller instrumentation with a stronger emphasis on bass and drums, together with a less restrained vocal style, make the sound more varied by taking it closer to the rock tradition. Someone used to the flowing melody lines of the early songs will find e.g. Is This What You Wanted harsh and even dissonant. It is clear that this direction culminated in the Phil Spector-produced Death of a Ladies' Man (1978), a nightmare for the artist but beloved by many.

The previous year's live album, Live Songs, display an even greater intensity and raw power on tracks like Please Don't Pass Me By. The themes are the same but the humor is more overt as in Chelsea Hotel, the moving portrait of Janis Joplin. Although the tunes are less striking on gentle numbers like I Tried to Leave You & There is a War, the insight and poetic quality of the lyrics are always arresting.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Wakefield, 2011 on 10 Aug 2009
Format: Audio CD
I ought to preface this review by stating that I am a committed Leonard Cohen fan, not a casual listener, so I'm judging this album in comparison to Leonard's finest works. And, sad to say, it suffers by that comparison - not that there's all that much wrong with what's here - Chelsea Hotel and Who By Fire are two of LC's most popular songs, still in his concert programme today. The problem is, these are very much his first thoughts on those songs.....anyone who's heard his current touring band's stunning version of Who By Fire will recognise that the original recorded here loses out on most of the song's drama and intensity (though it's by no means bad). The same sort of goes for I Tried To Leave You.

Elsewhere, Take This Longing should have been another great Cohen ballad, but suffers from a slight deficiency in the tune department. And a couple of songs begin to sound almost like filler (unthinkable, really). In fact, you'd be better to seek out live versions of most of these numbers on Cohen's various offically released live albums.

So, only a qualified recommendation, I'm afraid. Still, if this is Leonard Cohen at his second-best, it's still country miles ahead of most people at their peak.
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