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121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Age and Loss
After nine years since Leonard Cohen's last studio album The Future, was Ten New Songs worth the wait? Mostly, yes. There are three songs on the album which seem destined to join other Cohen classics - the pacy opening track "In My Secret Life", the rich and haunting "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and witty, urban-centered "Boogie Street" in which...
Published on 10 Oct 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars CD collection
Just like Marmite..this is a voice that you either like or not. To me it is something I like listening to late at night.
Published 13 months ago by Mr. R. A. Clarke


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121 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Age and Loss, 10 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
After nine years since Leonard Cohen's last studio album The Future, was Ten New Songs worth the wait? Mostly, yes. There are three songs on the album which seem destined to join other Cohen classics - the pacy opening track "In My Secret Life", the rich and haunting "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and witty, urban-centered "Boogie Street" in which Cohen seems to be saying goodbye to his years as a zen monk on a mountain outside Los Angeles and coming back into the real world of traffic jams.
Another highlight is the death-haunted "Here It Is", which unexpectedly telescopes romantic love with sickness, drunken falls, bedpans "cardboard and piss" and the thudding, powerful "By the Rivers Dark" which celebrates a life torn between the pleasures of Babylon and a nameless destructive force.
Cohen's voice is as weatherbeaten and low as you'd expect, and if anything even deeper and lower than on The Future, and is beautifully counterpointed by co-writer Sharon Robinson's delicate choruses and backing. The most exquisitely melancholy song on the whole album is surely "Alexandra Leaving". Like so much of Cohen's music this is music for lonely listeners in lonely rooms, or lonely drivers heading across a quiet landscape at dusk.
Though Ten New Songs is synthesizer-based and has many stylistic similarities to The Future the album is significantly different and is much more personal, with no political/social commentary apart from the gestures of the disappointingly weak final track "The Land of Plenty". The arrangements are more stripped down than on The Future (not always a good thing - the synthesizer drumbeat is at times oddly amateurish). But the mild blemishes don't spoil the overall effect of the album, which is one of those that grows on you with repeated listening.
Cohen's often under-rated sense of humour is much in evidence, notably in the lines "I fought against the bottle, / But I had to do it drunk". So too is his lyric genius: the line "When hatred with his package comes" reverberates with somber meaning. These are songs of age and loss, rueful but life-affirming, with a sense of toughness and endurance.
On the whole, Ten New Songs is a mellow, haunting album. It's as good as, maybe even better than, The Future, but not quite up to the dazzling standard of I'm Your Man.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a long wait but worth it, 14 Oct 2001
By 
john.dalzell2@btinternet.com (Errol,Perthshire,Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
The great man has returned with more greats---the first three tracks are instantly likeable;A Thousand Kisses deep having tones of The Miracle from The Future album-----the other seven tracks take a bit of listening to;but become stronger and more meaningful with each replay--this is an album for a darkened room,tranquility, and time apart to really listen to lyrics and the voices,and savour the moments.This man always sends those shivers of delight and amazement through me--don't leave it too long til next time Mr.Cohen.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - A Tour De Force and worth the 9 years wait., 25 May 2005
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
At 67, Leonard Cohen follows the monumental "The Future" with another astonishing release.

As already mentioned by others, this is as much Sharon Robinson's album as Cohen's. If, as some have said, the music sounds like it was played on one of those old Atari or Casio keyboards or a sequencer, then great, because it all works. The instrumental aspects of this album are simple and understated, a case of (a lot) less is definitely (a lot) more.

The vocals show Cohen on as good as form as his voice will ever get. The harmonies of Sharon Robinson add warmth and give the whole a beauty and lustre, so much so that it is a masterpiece.

"The Future" will not be beaten. As an album, it is, in my opinion, Cohen's greatest - and that's saying something when one consider's the brilliance of his previous albums. But on this, "By The Rivers Dark" is the absolute greatest Cohen song I have ever heard. It is a gem - and one of my favourite songs of all-time.

Others which make this another memorable album are "A Thousand Kisses Deep", "Here It Is" and "Boogie Street", but the simplicity of the music and Cohen downbeat lyrics mean that there is something special in all these ten new songs.

A wonderful album - can Cohen do no wrong? I doubt it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Late Discovery, 26 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. Paul A. Osler (Bury St Edmunds) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
I have discovered Leonard Cohen at the age of 47 and I sense he is an artist who is appreciated more with life experience.I started off with "Cohen Live" and I have since bought "Dear Heather", "Songs From A Room" and "Ten New Songs". The latter is my favourite and I like every song on the album. The songs acknowledge the mixture of weakness and strength of character which no doubt exists in us all and yet I find the overall tone of the album deeply satisfying and uplifting. The music is subtle but sweetly melodic and the lyrics are profound. For me this is music at its best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Len's return from the mountain was worth the wait., 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
Having waited for what seems like an eternity for Mr Cohen to 'come back to the world' from Mount Baldy, it was with great trepidation that I pressed the play button on the CD to listen to '10 New Songs', especially as the collaboration with Ms Robinson meant the work was not entirely his own. The first listening left me unsure, but after a second sitting I knew that the master had returned.
Although '10 New Songs' is much more polished and well produced than many of Mr Cohens' former albums (losing that grainy quality that often leant his albums a certain charm), this does not detract from the continuing poignancy, power and (in defiance of those who term his work as depressing) humour of his lyrics, or the serene beauty of his melodies. All of the songs are gems, especially 'That Don't Make it Junk' (which raises an ironic smile as only Len can do) and 'Alexandra Leaving' which will make you cry with its soaring simplicity. Len's golden drone is beautifully complimented by the dulcet tones of Sharon Robinson, adding depth and lightness in turns.
While '10 New Songs' will never replace 'Songs of..' as my favourite Leonard Cohen album, it nevertheless makes a wonderful and worthy contribution to the work of the greatest poet in song.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zen and the art of songwriting, 19 Oct 2001
By 
D. M. James (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
Nine years on - and every day of waiting has been worth it. I thought 'I'm your man' and 'The future' were wonderful, but this is a lifetime's achievement, the result of the most extraordinary reflection and self-transformation. Cohen's lyrics speak of human loss and suffering, with delicacy and compassion, and are married to the most subtle, gorgeous melodies. It's almost addictive. Forget the charts, forget the latest fashion, forget the superficial musings of overrated twentysomethings, and open your ears and heart to music with depth and integrity.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one grows on you, 10 Feb 2004
By 
RAButterworth (Woodford Green, Essex, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
A long time fan of Leonard Cohen, this album did not really work for me when I first bought it. I enjoyed it and added it to my collection but I didn't want to play it all the time. This January, I started playing it again and I just can't take it off the player. Everytime I decide it's time for a change, I find myself singing along and it stays on and it is now February. If you have not heard it, try it, it will grow on you big time.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graceful and subdued, 1 Mar 2002
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
The 2001 album Ten New Songs is quite subdued and at first listen all the songs have the same slow gentle sound. But the old magic's still there on classics like In My Secret Life, Love Itself, The Land of Plenty and the elegant Alexandra Leaving.

Cohen covers familiar themes and one even recognizes lines from earlier songs, e.g. "I do what I am told," (That Don't Make It Junk), while the mood of The Land Of Plenty reminds me of Heart With No Companion from the Various Positions album, a devotional with a sentiment of complete resignation and acceptance.

By The Rivers Dark refers to Psalm 137 about remembering Zion and singing a song to the Lord by the rivers of Babylon. The most explicitly spiritual song The Land of Plenty is the highlight of the album and stirring in its melancholy and honesty: "For what's left of our religion/I lift my voice and pray/May the lights in the land of plenty/Shine on the truth some day".

I enjoy Cohen's unusual excursions like Death of a Ladies' Man and the esoteric Recent Songs as much as his classic acoustic style so I have no problem with the synth-pop production. I love Sharon Robinson's vocals as backing and where she duets with him on tracks like Boogie Street and the exquisite Alexandra Leaving.

For more than four decades Cohen has been constructing a magnificent body of work that stands up to serious scrutiny and the passage of time. What a pleasure then, for these ten additional songs of the same sublime artistry as his first offering of the new millennium. The follow-up, 2004's Dear Heather is even better and more varied.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ten songs for a new millennium, 15 Nov 2008
By 
Pieter Uys "Toypom" (Johannesburg) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
The 2001 album Ten New Songs is quite subdued and at first listen all the songs have the same slow gentle sound. But the old magic' emerges on classics like In My Secret Life, Love Itself, The Land of Plenty and the elegant Alexandra Leaving. Cohen covers familiar themes and one even recognizes lines from earlier songs, e.g. "I do what I am told," (That Don't Make It Junk), while the mood of The Land Of Plenty reminds me of Heart With No Companion from the Various Positions album, a devotional filled with resignation and acceptance.

By The Rivers Dark refers to Psalm 137 about remembering Zion and singing a song to the Lord by the rivers of Babylon. The most explicitly spiritual song, The Land of Plenty, is the highlight of the album and stirring in its melancholy and honesty: "For what's left of our religion/I lift my voice and pray/May the lights in the land of plenty/Shine on the truth some day". I enjoy Cohen's unusual excursions like Death of a Ladies' Man and the esoteric Recent Songs as much as his 1960s acoustic style so I have no problem with the synth-pop production. I love Sharon Robinson's vocals as backing and where she duets with him on tracks like Boogie Street and the exquisite Alexandra Leaving.

For about five decades Cohen has been constructing a magnificent body of work that stands up to serious scrutiny and the passage of time. What a pleasure then, to have these ten additional songs of sublime artistry as his first offering of the new millennium. Not everybody will consider these tracks on a par with his most memorable songs and lots of fans will probably not care very much for the production. The follow-up, 2004's Dear Heather is even better and more varied.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth and soulful -a classic, 14 Nov 2001
This review is from: Ten New Songs (Audio CD)
Leonard Cohen had always intrigued but this is the first album I have loved, it should indeed open up a whole new audience for him. The tracks are deceptively simple, layered beatbox rythym, Cohens gravel and the shimmering voice of Sharon Robinson with sparse instrumentation. Lyrics are wry and occasionally witty. The whole album has a consistent mood not unlike some of the more laidback Van Morrison. One to try even if you are not a current fan.
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