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A wonderful cross section of Cohen's music
on 18 May 2006
This album is superb value, two generous discs crammed with very special music. It spans the whole range of Cohen's output (up to "Ten new songs") and you can hear his voice becoming deeper and more melancholy as the tracks go by.
Whilst everyone will have his favourite Cohen track, it must be said that there is not a bad track in the collection. Whilst all are clearly "Cohen", there is within that heading a tremendous range of moods and styles from the driving rhythms of "Democracy" to the more reflective favourite "Suzanne". In the later songs Sharon Robinson (the co-writer) plays a big part, but I find these songs just as good as the "pure" Cohen: in any case one of Cohen's strengths is that he changes in style, but still remains distinctly himself.
As always the lyrics are superb and blend in perfectly with the music: really the two cannot be separated. For me the very ambiguity and different possible interpretations of the words of such songs as "Alexandra leaving" add to their universality and give them an appeal to so many people (and make them suitable for so many moods).
When I purchased this disc I had not listened to Cohen for some time and had forgotten just how much I liked him and just how unique he is. I regard it as one of the best discs in my collection