24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
All-Time Great Album, 8 Oct. 2001
Leonard Cohen's first album is his best. Although I have heard all his albums and enjoyed them to varying degrees, "The Songs Of..." is the one I always come back to.
It's a brave album in that he lays his emotions bare in a way that no-one had previously. None of the bluster of Edith Piaf, none of the schmaltz of Sinatra, none of the goofiness of Dylan. The delivery is sad but very romantic and his love of and lust for women is so naked it's at times embarassing.
The classical guitar playing, although without the panache of Reinhardt, has tremendous energy and drive and I have never heard a style like Leonard's. The voice. What more can I say? Rich like the darkest treacle, his voice insistently begs for your attention. You know great sadness has been there but also great joy. Beautiful but transient women have been lovers.
The songs speak for themselves. "Suzanne" is simply a classic, "Sisters Of Mercy" is the most bittersweet symphony there has ever been, "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" is top 10 pop in a melancholy 1968 way.
Have I said enough? Probably more than enough. Buy it and love it.