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Customer Review

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why don't you come on back to the war?, 15 April 2005
This review is from: New Skin For The Old Ceremony (Audio CD)
To my mind this is Cohen's best album, achieving an impressive coherence of vision and texture whilst offering more variety of musical tone and timbre than any of his other (not inconsiderable) works. The arrangements are beautifully fitting, the instrumentation is subtle but much richer than on the preceding acoustic guitar oriented albums, and Cohen is in terrific voice, raw with unsuppressed rage and regret on 'Is This What You Wanted' and 'Leaving Greensleeves'. Casual or cloth-eared listeners hold that the Cohen worldview is depressing, but 'New Skin' is ripe with Len's characteristic dark wit and irreverent wordplay, affirming language and melody as (albeit flimsy) bulwarks against life's inevitable humiliations. The songs revel in the bitter comedy of sex and love and the recurrent theme is relationships as war, with the self-styled 'Field Commander Cohen' invariably among the vanquished. But insead of the standard self-pity of the sensitive singer-songwriter, Cohen offers us ironically humorous dissections of his own compromised motives and dirty psychic undercurrents, as well as those of his usually victorious partners. Love is always tinged with hate, adoration with contempt and desire with disgust, so that in the end even the winners in the battle of the sexes are victims of their own worst impulses. As he declares in 'There Is A War', there can be no armistice; the only option is to return to the front and prepare for the next defeat.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Jan 2010, 04:03:36 GMT
i think it is joint with his first cd and his third -ie "songs of leonard cohen" and "songs of love and hate" are equally as good as "new skin for the old ceremony" chelsea hotel/take this longing/why dont u try are 3 classics mmmmm and also who by fire and greensleaves and of course a singer must die are very good too and the others are all good- having said that my 2 fav cohen songs are on the first album -songs of leonard cohen -the obvious 2 hey thats no way to say goodbye and sisters of mercy -tho i also love avalanche and famous blue raincoat on the songs of love and hate -see -i really do find it hard to choose which is best of the 3 albums-i will admit tho i play new skin more often than the other 2 and also never skip any tracks on it when i do play it -i saw him live -in london circa 1980 and he did 7 encores and offered to play all night if we wanted him to-what a lovely humble guy he is -it was excellent-the mandolin solos were beautiful -sadly almost everyone in the audience had to run like us to catch the last train home at midnight -so we couldnt make him play more than 7 encores lol
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