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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
A Thousand Kisses Deep
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£9.35+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 18 March 2014
Having heard Christine Tobin sing Leonard Cohen songs before - "Everybody Knows" (which gets a new version here) has been a highlight of live sets; I was looking forward to hearing more and a whole album of this combination, is just a delight.

You get the poetry, the humour and clever writing of Leonard Cohen, but delivered with that wonderful voice and very clear, stripped-back arrangements. Nothing gets in the way and you hear every subtelty. The arrangments are a masterpiece of understated musicality. Phil Robson on guitar is main collaborator - although he gives way to Gwilym Simcock's piano on an incredibly slow "Anthem". Guitar though, provides rhythmic backing and the occasional brilliantly economical solo.

The basic unit is Robson on guitar joined by Dave Whitford's sinuous double bass playing, with Adriano Asewale on percussion - giving huge amounts of space to the songs, with an uncluttered approach - no unecessary playing here, every brushstroke is perfect. Huw Warren provides occasional colour with accordion, sounding folky or central European on "Take this Waltz".

There is an amazing shift in gear and continents, as that track evokes an Austro-Hungarian waltz, only to be followed by a South African "township" style grooove for "Suzanne". This becomes a real highlight of the set and is as far away from the dirge-y stle of the original as you could get, while still being recognisably the same song. It was a standing joke in the 60s and 70s that "Suzanne" was the most depressing song inaginable - but here it is up-beat and maybe even, funky.

With each tune, you get a new appreciation for the song-writing and also the imagination used in the arrangments. "Tower of Song" goes to all sorts of unexpected places and harmonies and is another highlight. Having said that, each tune is a minature masterpiece, crafted with love and attention to detail. There are elements of Jazz and other genres, but everything is directed towards providing the best showcase for voice and the songs.

The recording is incredibly clear and no detail is lost. Christine Tobin is on top form and these songs and arrangements form the perfect set to demonstrate her talents, while the band inject new life into every tune. I must agree with Neil Spencer's review in the Observer : "the album, artfully played, has a poised, emotional coherence; a warm, inventive homage." Highly recommended.
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on 27 August 2017
WONDERFUL - AMAZING - Great SINGER, Great SONGS. A WOMAN singing the songs by the MAN who UNDERSTOOD Women better than they understood themselves. She gets right Into & Under the SKIN of these songs and wears them as Comfortably as L.Cohen wore that Famous Blue Raincoat. I'd give this TEN STARS if I could
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on 30 December 2016
With the songwriter leaving our dama this year is extra weight added ?
Though Ms Tobin as many before ( and no doubt many after) clearly loves these numbers and wants us to know it.
Probably only gonna be loved of fans of Len ( as he always insisted I called him) or Chrisie baby.

P.S Skip version of "Suzanne". V. Poor
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on 3 April 2014
It’s seldom that covers of the greats add anything to the originals but Christine Tobin defies this thinking with her latest album, A Thousand Kisses Deep – a selection of Leonard Cohen’s works throughout his many decades.

Simplicity of rhythm imbues much of Cohen’s music with melancholy; it’s less easy to spot the glimmers of great emotional turmoil and joy in chord changes and melodies than it is in his lyrical dexterity and deep, dry voice.

Tobin, who creates all her own arrangements, deftly captures this latent emotion, drawing on it to produce a more musically sophisticated offering with surprisingly delightful twists and turns. Suzanne works brilliantly as an up-tempo joyous ode; while Tobin’s deep and sultry tones bring out the dark acerbity of Tower of Song and Everybody Knows. All of this makes for more explicit emotion and a more soulful experience than you’d ever expect with covers of Cohen’s songs. Rather than committing his music to the die-hards, this album – far beyond what you’d call an album of covers – opens up a treasure trove of inspiration for old and new audiences.
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on 30 March 2014
I am listening to this as I write. It's a truly stunning album. The original adaptations of Cohen's songs are inspired. I couldn't disagree more with some of the feedback I've seen here about tempos etc. It's supposed to be an interpretation of Cohen's lovely song writing not a copy of the original. It is just that. Christine Tobin's voice is perfectly suited to these tunes and she brings an originality which is really interesting. Her voice is beautiful, the arrangements are great and all the musicians involved are clearly top notch. I've been enjoying playing them repeatedly since it arrived in the post so I'll definitely be checking out her other albums.
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on 8 April 2014
Superb Interpretations of well known Cohen songs giving them a new angle, showing contours and colours I didn't know we're there. I too disagree with the idea that the tempo is too fast on some songs. These are great arrangements that do not seem forced in any way - with the exception if take this waltz which has yet to insinuate itself into my psyche.

I don't have to much to add above other reviewers other than to comment on the sound quality a very important aspect for me. The quality is top notch, no hint of the loudness wars that so bedevil us today. Drums and cymbals that sound like drums and cymbals with a wonderful voice reaching out from between the speakers. The album was recorded in one day and is all the better for that.

Anthem is still giving goosebumps on the fifth listening.
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on 12 April 2014
Wonderful album, Leonards songs/poems sang, and in some cases interpreted,beautifully! Very enjoyable, first album I have heard of hers and this makes me a fan!
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on 11 May 2016
Good sound but not mesmerising.
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on 24 November 2016
For a previously owned item it was faultless and the delivery was fast.
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on 22 April 2014
Excellent re-interpretation of Leonard Cohens songs. Christine Tobin has good backing musicians and the arrangements are worthy of the songs.
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