This was Leonard Cohen's debut album, and if, as the blurb on the CD says, his career had ended with this, his stature as one of the most gifted songwriters of our time would still be secure. Something I would wholeheartedly agree with! Thankfully his career prospered, and the old boy is still strutting his stuff today. This album defies time, and has not dated a bit. Like Bob Dylan, Cohen was way ahead of his time. A published poet for ten years before he made it with this album, he brings all his unique talents to bear in this collection of songs. I first heard some of the songs in the Robert Altman movie "McCabe and Mrs Miller", and was bowled over. So much so that I had to buy this album which includes them. Cohen's style is utterly unique. He combines his poetic talents to merge with his beautifully nuanced and sung ballads. They have this haunting beauty that is hard to describe in words. To understand what I mean you really have to listen to him, if you are one of the few who has not already done so.
When I have spoken to friends recently about Cohen, I keep hearing that he is too depressing. Rubbish, they can't have been listening to the same bloke, who I actually find to be inspiring. Every track on this album carries the man's own brilliant hallmark. The album was incredibly first issued in 1967, which is hard to believe. I found it late and was astonished to find it was that from that era as it sounded so fresh. I still have a lot of catching up to do with Cohen, and I look forward to the experience! I am not too sure about the chained naked lady, with a serene look on her face in the middle of a raging inferno, shown on the back of the disc, but then of course Cohen is an artist entitled to more Bohemian tastes!