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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Songs Of Love And Hate

Leonard Cohen

1971

Buy At Rough Trade
Songs Of Love And Hate
Album Summary

Songs of Love and Hate is the third studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. Produced by Bob Johnston, the album was released on March 19, 1971, through Columbia Records.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.25

Votes

12142

Genres

  • Folk
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Tue Mar 23 2021
2

god this is dreary. someone should introduce this guy to some Sponge Bob.

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

“Songs of Love and Hate” by Leonard Cohen (1971) I recommend that you don’t play this album as background music while you’re working. This album should be listed to on a cold and/or rainy day, wrapped in a blanket and drinking herbal tea—staring out the window. I’ve never listened to this album before, although I’ve long respected Cohen’s work, chiefly his more popular works like “Suzanne”, “The Future”, “First We Take Manhattan”, and “Democracy”. This album does not disappoint. Cohen is a poet and a prophet (in that order). His genius in this album is found in the dark musical and lyrical moods which he crafts with an entrancingly low baritone voice and skillful acoustic guitar stylings. His production team has found the perfect combination of echo and reverb to accentuate his unique vocal style. Cohen strugglers with pitch control, but more than compensates with sonority. His backing instrumentals and vocals are first-rate (including, I was pleased to learn, Charlie Daniels on bass and fiddle). But the focus here is on the lyrics. The listener is compelled to think about each line, and Cohen’s slow tempo and metrical space provide opportunity for this. The word pictures are evocative, prompting his audience to enter into the narrative as a front row observer, if not a participant. The symbolism is rich and imaginative, if not always decipherable, and finely tuned to the overall theme and mood of each composition. I recommend “Avalanche” and “Joan of Arc” for a serious listen. In his lyrics, he frequently makes reference to historical, literary, and cultural markers in order to serve his poetic expressions, revealing an intellectual engagement with the human drama that is as deep and sonorous as his voice. The lyrics of “Avalanche” would stand alone as poetry, inviting the hearer to consider how his or her physical imperfections affect one who has pity. He writes this poetic monologue in such a way that virtually everyone can relate to both sides of a pointedly touching encounter. The line “You must learn what makes me kind.” is hortatory without being preachy. I’d love to lie on the couch in his office. “Joan of Arc” is a wonderfully inventive love ballad imagined between St. Joan of Arc and the fire that consumed her as she was executed by being burned at the stake. It plays on the theme of ‘love as a flame’, with echoes of St. John of the Cross “The Dark Night”, stanza 3, and “The Living Flame of Love”: “¡Oh llama de amor viva! . . . Matando, muerte en vida la has trocado.” The serious listener will make a penetrating if tearful comparison with Loreena McKennitt’s “Dark Night of the Soul”: “The fire ‘twas led me on . . “ I need a break. Anyway, this album is very good. If you’re interested in digging deeply into your soul, Leonard Cohen is standing there with two shovels. And a match. 4/5

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Mon Apr 17 2023
4

He's sad and he has a guitar. Fuck yeah!

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

What a voice, what a poet. Famous Blue Raincoat is a melancholy masterpiece - it doesn't matter how many times it is played.

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Sat Sep 11 2021
3

Probably stomached enough of Leonard by this point. If this was a footballer, it'd be Phil Neville.

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Fri Jul 09 2021
2

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the appeal of Cohen.

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Mon Mar 20 2023
1

Medicine for depression. If you want to be depressed, that is.

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Thu Oct 15 2020
5

This was absolutely hauntingly gorgeous. Cohen's voice is incredibly emotive, and the often bare-bones instrumentation really brought that out.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

Don't even need to stick this on to know it's a five. More if it was allowed. Not even his best album, but still holds many moments of transcendent beauty.

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Sun Apr 25 2021
5

Unquestionably a masterpiece. My favorite of Cohen’s albums. This is what Bob Dylan wishes he sounded like

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

I really like poetry despite not knowing what it means most of the time. I just think word soup is cool. This album is no exception.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
2

I would have bet a fool’s seventh gonad that I would enjoy this, but it was pretty bland and annoying

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Sat Feb 13 2021
1

Great for listening to when you've had a heavy night on the crack pipe

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

A masterpiece. Lyrical poems, and what a voice.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
5

5/5. Big Leonard Cohen fan! Always great to see his albums on this list. Best songs: Avalanche, Joan of Arc, Dress Rehearsal Rag, Love Call You By Your Name, Diamond in the Mine,

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Wonderfully mellow guitar sound and Leonard perfectly front and centre without being obtrusive. Genuinely poetic. So many simple but subtle production details with backing instruments and vocals.

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Leonard's lyrics have always been the best of the best but, except for the album Phil Spector produced, the instrumentation on his LPs before Various Positions was rudimentary.   While some of this is due to his music drifting away from pure folk in later years, I expect another reason is that Hallelujah brought him money so he could afford more studio time to add more layers to the sound.  Joan of Arc, my favourite song on the album, is an excellent example. You can see how the song evolved by comparing the album version and the version on his 1994 LIVE album. Avalanche is a haunting song and the instrumentation doesn't need to evolve one inch. It's my favourite song on the album. Leonard plays the classical guitar. His guitar playing is underrated and he was somehow able to play this and sing at the same time when they played this live. Last Year's Man is another gem lyrically. It's also my favourite song on the album. I like how the children's choir is brought in to sing back up but just for the sixth minute of the song. I guess they didn't have any more rehearsal time lol. The children make another cameo in the last quarter of Dress Rehearsal Rag.  Side 2 has Famous Blue Raincoat which is definitely definitely definitely my favourite song on the album.   The songs that I didn't mention as my favourite are also quite good. Esp Dress Rehearsal Rag, Diamonds in the Mine, and Sing Another Song Boys.--

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Sun Jan 21 2024
4

No. 104/1001 Avalanche 4/5 Last Year's Man 5/5 Dress Rehearsal Rag 3/5 Diamonds in the Mine 3/5 Love Calls You By Your Name 4/5 Famous Blue Raincoat 5/5 Sing Another Song, Boys 4/5 Joan of Arc 4/5 Average: 4,0 What a great poet and melancolic songwriter. Famous Blue Raincoat best showcases his ability of eliciting feelings from his listeners. Still don't know why he thought Diamonds in the Mine is worth including in this album.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
3

The first time I've heard this for the astonishing work it is. I can't believe it's taken this long. Maybe I was on too much of a Cohen bender first time around, or I didn't have a wide broad enough frame of reference. In a way, it's Cohen at his most rock and roll. Spiritually and emotionally it's raw, aggressive, even violent. The guitar picking--which for all the world should sound delicate, even timid--is somehow muscular. It's got *ass*. As for the imagery: "That's a funeral in the mirror and it's stopping at your face."

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Sun Feb 26 2023
3

Man, this is bleak for first thing on a Saturday morning.

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Tue Feb 21 2023
2

Avalanche is great, although a tad bit long. That actually holds up for the whole album; the songs last too long for my taste. The album couldn't hold my attention when listening from front to back either. All in all I rather listen to Nick Drake or Tom Waits when I'm in the mood for melancholic songs.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

FIVE Solid stars. Always a favorite of mine.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
5

I know a lot of Leonard Cohen's greatest hits. But I will admit to not being so familiar with his complete discography. This early album gave a real insight as to where Leonard came from as an artist. A very enjoyable listen. Will be adding it to the regular rotation.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

This was such a pleasure to listen to today. Cohen is on the list of artists like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits who I had to age into. I appreciate him in a way that was never possible before. I have a two-disc Leonard Cohen Essentials CD but haven't ever listened to any of his studio albums. So glad to be doing it now. The guitar work is exquisite, the lyrics emotionally deep. The chorus of children's voices is particularly effective but not overused. I favorited every track.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Leonard Cohen was someone I was hoping and expecting to listen to in this project. I have always wanted to explore his earlier music. I had owned a 1991 tribute album which was how some of his songs were most familiar to me. My favorite song from that compilation was “Avalanche,” sung in French by Jean-Louis Murat. I played it a lot. It sent chills to hear Leonard Cohen’s version with its classical guitar sound and his resonant voice opening this album. I wish I knew why I am so seized by that song. And the rest of the album seized me, for that matter. I walked into work late just to finish a song first. “Famous Blue Raincoat” completely pulled me out of the world and took hold of my heart. This album makes me really, really feel; like I’m plugged in to something beyond myself while I listen.

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Thu Nov 18 2021
5

Haunting. Not something I want to hear regularly but I understand his appeal and influence now.

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Sat Jan 01 2022
5

Well, I stepped into an avalanche, it covered up my soul … Four o’clock in the afternoon, And I didn’t feel like very much … I thought you were a racing man, Ah but you couldn’t stand the pace, That’s a funeral in the mirror, And it’s stopping at your face … And you passed the summers, Picking all of the berries that grew there It’s four in the morning, The end of December, I’m writing you now, just to see if you’re better … Ah, the last time we saw you, You looked so much older, Your famous blue raincoat, was torn at the shoulder …

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Great storyteller. Kind of have to listen to words, not just jam to music. Low 5

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Sun Jan 23 2022
5

What an incredible album. Cohen at his darkest and with some of his greatest songwriting (which is saying a lot). One of the best singer-songwriter albums of all time

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

I've never listened to this album by Leonard Cohen before. It's a beautiful experience. Very raw.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

Not my favourite album of his, but he is one of my favourite artists and this album contains my favourite song of all time 'Famous Blue Raincoat'

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Sun Jun 19 2022
5

Christ, bad choice of day for this. Been dealing with the emotional fallout of a former colleague being a serial sexual harasser, followed by talking about how to address the horrible effects of inequality of children's services, and trying to find affordable solutions when our government gives no f***s and pennies (I have a weird job). Then I think, well that was harrowing, I'm going to listen to my album to cheer up and it's... Leonard Cohen. It is incredibly depressing. But brilliantly so. Famous Blue Raincoat and Dress Rehearsal Rag especially so. Lyrically brilliant, use of a children's choir. He's also hilarious if your humour skews dark. Can't fault this album.

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Tue Jun 28 2022
5

I had never listened to Cohen before this list. And honestly he has quickly become on of my favorites from this list. So far this one seems like his best work I've heard yet.

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

5.0 + The most emotionally intense and deeply atmospheric Leonard Cohen album, and also my favorite of his. Absolutely arresting in its poetry, delivered with a dry baritone and hushed finger-picking guitar. Standouts: "Famous Blue Raincoat", "Last Year's Man", "Avalanche", "Love Calls You By Your Name."

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Good lord this man can write a song! Wish I could travel back in time to the point I started diversifying my musical tastes and slap the Dylan out of my hand and put this in it instead. Not that Dylan is so terrible, or anything, but man I woulda enjoyed discovering Cohen at an earlier age.... Fave track - "Avalanche" is just absolutely tremendous. "Famous Blue Coat" is wonderful... A bunch of the others, too....

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

It took me a while before I could appreciate Cohen's work, and this is the album that finally made me a fan. Avalanche is one of my favorite songs of all-time and the whole album has a dark and cynical feeling that I really like.

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Fri Dec 23 2022
2

The last album you want to listen to when the windchill is -35 degrees outside. Unless depression is sort of your thing.

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

Wow this was a nice surprise

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Наконец сразу сразу веет лёгкое дуновение того, что слушаешь что-то подлинно охуенное. Лаконичные атмосферные аранжировки, харизматичный вокал. Вероятно, и тексты дохуя умные, жаль, не понимаю, а читать лень. Вероятно, именно в этом альбоме были подняты темы, что позже получат развитие в альбоме Фэйса "Hate Love", который я также ожидаю увидеть в рамках изучаемого нами списка. По звучанию альбом напоминает лёгкие "неосновные" треки Pink Floyd в альбомах The Wall и The Final Cut. В Diamonds in the Mine вокальная партия интересная, почти что протопанк. Самого напрягает, что ставлю одни тройки и четвёрки. В Famous Blue Raincoat нехило залип, можно уже за неё пятёру ёбнуть.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

На ютубе есть такой музблоггер, Руди Аюб. У него был скетч про то, как играть музыку «с чувством», в конце которого его просто заставляют брать одну ноту и плакать на протяжении всей песни. Это, в принципе, описывает моё отношение ко многим музыкальным попыткам в «душевность». Но здесь ситуация повернулась совсем по-иному. Иногда действительно достаточно только акустической гитары, немного струнных, немного пианинки, немного бэков и полного боли голоса. При абсолютной «немузыкальности» подобного направления иногда оно достигает своей цели — передать сырые, живые эмоции и погрузить слушателя в густую прокуренную атмосферу. Каждая песня выросла во мне с повторными прослушиваниям, создавая этакий мрачный вязкий бэкграунд для углубления в свои мысли. Иногда даже появлялись ассоциации с более поздним периодом творчества Скотта Волкера, что, без сомнения, один из лучших комплиментов для музыканта. Особенно хочется отметить Sing Another Song Boys — концовка просто невероятно волшебная и эмоциональная. Ну и, конечно, Dress Rehearsal Rag — беспросветная суицидальная сюита, отдающая вайбом самых тёмных летовских песен. Ну и интересные гитарные пассажи в Avalanche и Love Calls You By Your Name сразу привлекают внимание. В целом Песни любви и ненависти идут в коллекцию альбомов, к которым я возвращаюсь редко, но когда возвращаюсь — получаю несравнимый балдеж. 5/5

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Thu Aug 12 2021
5

Kolejny folkowy album o ktorego pojeciu bym pewnie nigdy sie nie dowiedzial, gdyby nie listowe losowanko, songs of love and hate to trzeci w bogatej dyskografii, bo az 15 studyjnych nagran, album Leonarda Cohena, ktory tworzy swoje ballady po angielsku, jak na kanadyjczyka przystalo, jednoczesnie nie brzmi on w ogole jak kanadyjczyk, nie chodzi mi o uzywany jezyk, czy wymowe, ale o kontent tworzonej muyzki, bo ostatnio tyle nawiazan biblijnych w tekstach slyszalem u Dylana, a nie wydaje mi sie zebym mijal sie z prawda okreslajac Cohena kanadyjskim Dylanem po przesluchaniu tego materialu, bo tak napakowanych kontentem lirycznych tekstow ciezko szukac u kogokolwiek innego, dlatego takiej plyty nie da sie przesluchac raz i o niej zapomniec, bo zawsze znajdzie sie inne spojrzenie na sluchany kawalek w zaleznosci od posiadanej wiedzy lub materialow pomocniczych, bo genius jest tutaj dobrym wsparciem dajacym drogowskazy w ktora strone mozna ciagnac interpretacje, tytul dobrze oddaje zawartosc ktora mozna znalezc w srodku, sa piosenki o dwoch bliskich sobie uczuciach milosci i nienawisci, nie tak oczywistej jak na wyjcach panterowych, ale o nienawisci czy tez milosci do samego siebie, swoich slabosci, opowiadanych podczas kontemplacji golenia, ktore jest zaproszeniem do slaszowania swietego mikolaja po kablach, a to tylko jeden osmiu kawalkow, wsrod ktorych brak jakichkolwiek zapychaczy, po zwikowaniu pana Cohena troche sie wyjasnilo skad tak mocno odcisniete sa tutaj motywy biblijne, pomimo obywatelstwa kanadyjskiego jego przodkowie maja mocno litewsko zydowskie korzenie, na tyle mocne zeby byc jednym z ojcow zalozycieli kanadyjskiej rady zydow, wiec czuc tutaj mocny wplyw wychowania wsrod ortodyksyjnego judaizmu, co do strony instrumentalnej plyty, to jak przystalo na muzyke folkowa dominuje akustyk Cohena, na kolejnym planie najmocniejszymi akcentami jest pianino Johnstona, ktory byl takze odpowiedzialy za produkcje materialu, a jest to ta sama osoba ktora nagrywala z Dylanem, Byrdsami, czy chcby ostatnimi Waterboysami, kolejny raz zrobil on swietna robote, bo album oszczednie uzywa zasosbow instrumentalnych, jednoczesnie nie jest ani surowy, ani nie odciaga uwagi od glownego dania plyty czyli kontentu lirycznego, skoro muzyka rokowo folkowa jak u dylana, to nie moglo zabraknac akcentow harpy ustnej, czy okazjonalnego banjo, no i traka z elektrykiem, trzeba jeszcze wspomniec o backujacych wokalach, ktore dobrze zostaly wplecione na produkcji, wiec jesli wokal Cohena leci na obu kanalach, tak zza jednego mozna uslyszec backujace szepty lub nawet cale chorki, w tym jeden dzieciecy chor, wszystko jest, wsrod 8 kawalkow znajdzie sie takze jeden zapisy wystepu live, to jest sing another song, boys, bedacy przedostatnim trakiem, dodajac na plejke kawalki ktore musialy sie tam znalezc dodalem polowe plyty, numery 1, 3, 4, 8, jak na 44 minuty materialu, czyli dosc standardowo album na dwie strony vinylaka to chyba plyta ktora ktora mozna sluchac calkowicie wyrywkowo, a i tak bedzie sluchalna, a jednoczesnie stanowi przemyslana kompozycje biegnaca jak wykres oscylografu z swoimi lowami i nastepujacymi po nich downami, no i jest to kolejny swietny argument za teza, ze narod zydowski wydaje na swiat najlepszych bardow naszych czasow

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Sun Dec 05 2021
5

Yet another perfect album. Like many others I became aware of Leonard Cohen through the movie Pump Up the Volume and Nick Cave. I though this album was a compilation at first as it has a number of my favourite Cohen songs on it

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Tue Mar 01 2022
5

Excellent - a personal; favourite

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Sun Mar 06 2022
5

Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld

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Wed Mar 30 2022
5

Downbeat, sparse, that voice...a classic, best listened to at 3am after a fair amount of Old Fashioneds. Avalanche and Famous Blue Raincoat are highlights but everything is just pure quality.

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Sat May 14 2022
5

Vraiment un classique intemporel, texte et musique, un chef d’oeuvre 5

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Sat May 21 2022
5

I love you, Leonard. I hope you're fairing well.

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Sat May 21 2022
5

The perfect album to begin a heroin addiction to.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
5

Oh, yes. Well, this was predictably great.

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

28th July 2022 Listened in the morning and finished the morning after. Full day at the second river. Poet Cohen. What a joy.

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Tue Sep 06 2022
5

Most of my exposure to Leonard Cohen was from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack and newer stuff. This album is incredble and definitely makes me want to dig deeper.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

Classic LC album (certainly his first four are all 5 stars and this is number 3).

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Brilliant album - great songs.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

hell yeah, Leonard Cohen is GOATED 10/10

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Tue Oct 04 2022
5

Bob Dylan of Canada ;) Excellent compositor, deep music - good for your soul. CLASSIC

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

I can't help but compare Cohen to Dylan and I just love Dylan way more. Happy to have heard this and definitely need to go back to it again.

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Sat Oct 08 2022
5

Legendary singer/songwriter and solid album I hadn’t heard before.

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

This is poetry Leonard Cohen, what a songwriter, what a poet. This man could write a song that makes you feel something. His voice is so unique, so dark and dramatic. The lyrics are true poetry that hits you so deep. I knew of Cohen before this projekt but im so glad I got the oppurtunity to really dig into his music

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Sat Oct 15 2022
5

A écouter pendant qu’on est ni dans un haut ni dans un bas

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Fri Oct 21 2022
5

Love Leonard Cohen, but admittedly I 'm not a frequenter of his albums, and there's plenty I've left undug. Including this, so this was welcomed. Avalanche is just an incredible piece of work. Unsettlingly atmospheric guitar and strings, gripping songwriting and delivery. Anyone unaffected, by this, I don't understand. Last Year's Man is as mournfully beautiful as Avalanche was unsettling. The vitriol in Dress Rehearsal Rag! It seems pointless picking out further individual tracks, they're all of such high quality. Obviously, Famous Blue Raincoat, well, words can't express. Cohen at his best outstrips Dylan, and he does so here. This is the best album this project has presented to me in quite some time. Glorious.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

I didn’t think I was going to like this album, but I was blown away. Leonard Cohen has an amazingly powerful voice and the backing music complements him perfectly

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Sun Dec 04 2022
5

Diamonds in the Mine is unbelievable. He starts off with a sardonic, Dylanesque voice. But it finishes with this coarse shouting. Try and ignore that if you can. The whole thing is just ridiculously brilliant.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

Great guitar work and melodies. Odd but interesting lyrics. Vocals sound like they took one take and said that’ll do.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

Awesome album. Mostly chill and kinda dark.

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Tue Jan 03 2023
5

My favorite Leonard Cohen album. The songs are universally excellent with lyrics whose imagery is vivid and palpable. The melodies can at times sound similar from song to song but that's a minor criticism when the quality of lyrical content is this extraordinary. 5 stars

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Fri Jan 20 2023
5

Think Leonard Cohen might be the biggest revelation in this list so far for me. Fantastic poet and really emotive voice. Didn't enjoy this quite as much as "you want it darker" I don't think. This was more Bob Dylan esque I think. Which is no bad thing! I think his voice gets better with age too. Think the highlights were avalanche, diamonds in the mine, famous blue raincoat and Joan of arc. At least 2 of my 5 star albums now mention Joan of arc!

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Fri Feb 17 2023
5

As a fan of poetry and songwriting, I have always been drawn to Cohen's ability to craft lyrics that are both profound and deeply personal. The music on this album serves to elevate the poetic lyrics and give them a punch. The melodies are simple yet haunting, and the arrangements are stripped down, allowing the focus to be on the lyrics and Cohen's unique vocal style. What I find particularly compelling about this album is how it has become more important to me as I have aged. When I first discovered this album, I was in my late teens and was drawn to the melancholic yet beautiful sound. But as I have grown older and experienced my own share of love and loss, I find myself connecting even more deeply with the lyrics. The songs on this album are timeless, and Cohen's view on love and loss speaks directly to my soul. Overall, "Songs of Love and Hate" is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time. Leonard Cohen's ability to craft profound lyrics and his unique vocal style make this album a must-listen for anyone who appreciates great songwriting. It is an album that has influenced my taste in music and will continue to be a source of inspiration for years to come.

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Sun Feb 19 2023
5

I love Leonard Cohen. So this is an easy one.

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Sat Mar 11 2023
5

je me suis pris une averse en meme temps c'était de mise

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

L. Cohen could have used up the entirety of the record telling knock-knock jokes for all I care, as long as “Avalanche” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” were featured. Fortunately, he doesn’t. Nevertheless it wouldn’t have altered my score significantly. What an emotional ride.

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Fri Apr 07 2023
5

Love. Hate. Sex. Christianity. More sex. A raincoat. 5/5.

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

Really appreciate how distinctive his voice is. Tonally I feel like this album is diverse

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Sun Apr 09 2023
5

Cohen gets dark. Cohen gets good. I'm not sure if it's his best album, or just in the top 3. Man of phenomenal talent and gift.

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

Leonard Cohen's third album and second with Bob Johnston builds upon his previous 'Songs from a Room' resulting in an album that is much more textured and full sounding. These songs are contemplative, bleak, and inhabit a world that is feels very lived in. It is one of Cohen's most emotional intense albums, but it retains its focus throughout result in something that is completely unified. It is beautiful and austere and will stick with the listener long after it's finished.

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Wed Sep 06 2023
5

First time listening to any Leonard Cohen and I am on board the hype train. He is pretty dour but I don't think that necessarily translates to a depressing time listening. I like his strange slap guitar playing and his thoughtful phrasing. The backing vocals usually cut through just enough to lighten things or break the sound up enough to keep it interesting. Famous Blue Raincoat was my standout.

👍
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