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

Songs From A Room

Leonard Cohen

1969

Wikipedia

Songs From A Room

Rating

3.16

Votes

3639

Reviews

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3

I was actually dreading the inevitable Leonard Cohen album, since I feel he is kind of the epitome of a singer/songwriter who cares more about song than sound, a topic I discussed a few reviews back. And sure enough, the album was what I expected it to be: a collection of barely-sung poetic lyrics over simple music. What I didn’t expect was how much I didn’t hate it. The feeling I got was kind of like a more melancholy version of the way I felt about the Sinatra album: it was just a nice thing to have in the background that doesn’t really intrude. My only disappointment was the lyrics. All the reviews and notes refer to his wit and wordsmithing in superlative terms, but honestly I feel like a lot of more recent lyrics, especially rap lyrics, are more impressive. He does tell a good story through. My personal enjoyment: 2.5/5 Did it belong on this list: 5/5

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5

What an album! Always heard the hype but never really listened to Cohen--I understand now. A great listen, I can picture a recently divorced man who lost everything but his sense of self sitting on the porch smoking a cigarette on a cold gray winter morning. Calmer and muted for a 5 rating for me but truly there's no reason not to give it its due.

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4

Cohen is so very good at the melancholy thing, and I love it. On later albums he gets even better, as his voice ages he grows into it more and it's just beautiful. This album is a lovely listen, full of stories. I enjoyed it lots. I thin it only misses out on being a 5 because I know he gets even better.

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4

Leonard Cohen's first album was an unqualified triumph which announced the arrival of a bold and singular talent, and many who heard it must have wondered what Cohen could do for an encore. By comparison, Cohen's second album, 1969's Songs from a Room, was something of a letdown. While it's a fine LP, it ultimately feels neither as striking nor as assured as Songs of Leonard Cohen. Bob Johnston stepped in as producer for Songs from a Room, and his arrangements are simpler than those John Simon crafted for the debut, but they're also full of puzzling accents, such as the jew's harp that punctuates several tracks, the churchy organ line in "The Old Revolution," and the harsh synthesizer flourishes on "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes." Johnston also had trouble coaxing strong vocal performances from Cohen; his singing here sounds tentative and his meter is uncertain, which regardless of how one feels about Cohen's much-debated vocal prowess is not the case with his other work. And finally, the quality of the songs on Songs from a Room is less consistent than on Songs of Leonard Cohen; as fine as "Bird on a Wire," "You Know Who I Am," "The Story of Isaac" and "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" may be, "The Butcher" and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" simply aren't up to his usual standards. Despite the album's flaws, Songs from a Room's strongest moments convey a naked intimacy and fearless emotional honesty that's every bit as powerful as the debut, and it left no doubt that Cohen was a major creative force in contemporary songwriting.

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4

"The Partisan" is a hauntingly beautiful song. I really appreciate the song-writing quality of Cohen. Very much in the same vein as Dylan, you're listening for the poetry and the lyrics more than the flow of the music.

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4

Loved this. Proper spoken word story telling. Great songwriting, emotive delivery from someone I only got into after he died. 4/5

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4

Another brilliant Leonard Cohen album. I love the spare arrangements. Songs are all memorable. His idiosyncratic voice is perfect to express the beautiful lyrics. 4.5 stars

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3

I do love Leonard Cohen, even if in the grander context of 70s Folk icons he falls behind the likes of Dylan and Joni. This album in particular has some of his most stripped back and bare songs that hit hard like 'Seems So Long Ago, Nancy'. Also, there is The Partisan which might be my fav Leonard song. The rest of the album is a little hit or miss for me.

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3

Another excellent record from Leonard Cohen with a couple of all-timers in the mix. It feels of apiece with Songs of Love and Hate. Musically, it's very stark, and the lyrics standout more than any of the melodies or arrangements. It kind of makes it difficult to grade on a similar scale as other albums on here that are more musically interesting because it feels like it's a different artform altogether. This isn't a record I have a lot of experience with and I suspect my appreciation will stretch and deepen over time the more the lyrics sink in, as is the case with many of his records. For now, it's siting comfortably at a 3.5. Favourite songs: "Bird on a Wire" and "The Partisan"

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2

Another Cohen album, another review that says pretty much the same thing. Namely that, while Cohen was a world-class songwriter, his songs are best when someone else performs them. He really can't sing and the guitar playing on this album is pretty dismal as well. At first listen, there's nothing to really recommend the album... until you really listen to the lyrics. Because those are brilliant. Shame Cohen can't perform worth a damn.

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5

AAAAHHHHHHHH

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5

Great lyrics should check out more

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5

Thanks for letting me cry, Leonard

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5

love it

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5

Y

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5

One of best witnesses of the era... might got stuck between two masterpieces, but it's still a very brilliant album.

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5

Nick: not a fan

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5

Creo que ya se había dicho, pero pues sí, grandes letras.

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5

Excellent storytelling

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5

Fantastic album!

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5

excellent

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5

His voice is so not mainstream, but then neither is the writing... so yeah.

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5

Que bello csm

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5

Que genialidad Leonard Cohen, y como se reinventó en su cambio de voz. Escuchás las canciones de este disco y las comparás con los mas nuevos y pensás que es otro cantante directamente. Espero hayan mas discos de el en la lista. Particularmente este disco no es de mis favoritos pero no es malo bajo ningun punto de vista. Además está The Partisan que es uno de sus mejores temas. Entiendo como a la gente podria no gustarle pero bueno. Nada, loco. Hizo el hallellujah, no jodamos.

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5

Lo adoro profundamente pero no tengo la cabeza puesta para escucharlo ahora. Tiene un tono de voz y unas letras, como las de Tom Waits, que me llevan a un lugar al cual no tengo muchas ganas de ir ahora. El disco es espectacular, ya lo había escuchado hace mucho pero no lo voy a escuchar todo ahora. 10/10 ludomatics.

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5

Fucking fantastic!

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5

Another solid classic by LC

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5

beautiful

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5

I like this.

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5

I don't think I've ever heard a bad Leonard Cohen album and this is just as good. Just completely heartfelt and it makes me feel so many emotions, grief and joy and elation and sadness, over and over.

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5

A bit melancholic, but overall very pleasant to listen to.

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5

The Partisan

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5

Poesía de Cohen. Sólo por The Patisan ya se merece un 5.

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5

Very relaxin and interesting lyrics.

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5

Great album, loved it.

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5

Bird on a wire ist songwriting-Maßstab!!!

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5

Très bon

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5

han bliver aldrig dårlig

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5

Wonderful

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5

Also love Leonard Cohen

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5

Sometimes the jaw harp is super annoying but damn this is good.

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5

The difficult second album: a quick primer. One phenomenon critics are wont to diagnose is that of the difficult second album, of a lesser album following a sledgehammer of a debut. Critics are also swift to attribute this to the shift in gear a successful debut imposes: you have your whole life to write your first one, and one year for your second. And critics routinely admit a failing on their part: oft the second album isn't that bad, but they see it as diminished when stood against the first. Now, large parts of that earlier paragraph are bollocks. Some groups peak with their debut, of course, but some require time and succour to blossom fully: Second Coming may not have equalled The Stone Roses, but the Happy Mondays' first album, Squirrel and G Man 24 Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile White Out, proved the working prototype for the Mondays' future glories. Also, the first paragraph is a touch slanderous on critics; at least the critic knows the other albums. Anyway, Leonard Cohen's second album, Songs from a Room, is excellent, but not as good as his first. This makes it sound as if Songs from a Room perhaps lacks some of the majesty or the power of Songs of Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen's first album, when it doesn't. Nor is the songwriting a step down; Leonard Cohen was glaringly one of the great songwriters to emerge in the 60s, Bob Dylan's morose brother, the main dispute being who felt more breasts. I have since got drunk, and have concluded that this would be a five-star album in the hands of any other. Just because I incrementally prefer the first to the second doesn't mean this in any way disappoints in how it blends the sacred with the base, or how Bird on the Wire nods to Bukowski, or how The Story of Isaac answers Highway 61 Revisited by reminding us that God left Isaac tormented with the threat of murder. So, a five-star album. Perhaps not as immediately brilliant as the first, but I have persuaded myself. I feel rather mature.

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5

Difficile de donner moins que 5 étoiles au (allons-y) plus grand auteur-compositeur-interprète de la fin du 20e siècle.

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5

Austérité. Esotérisme. Prefs: Bird on the Wire, Story of Isaac, A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes, The Partisan, Seems So Long Ago, Nancy, The Old Revolution, The Butcher, You Know Who I Am, Lady Midnight, Tonight Will Be Fine Moins pref: Rien

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4

I prefer Songs of Love and Hate, but its still a damn good album. His voice is beautiful. Closer to a 3.5

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4

Good album, pretty somber but it wasn't my style

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4

Great lyrics, great songs

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4

I've never heard of the artist, but ended up impressed.

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4

Sounds pretty different from the later stuff, but really good nonetheless

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4

Beautiful. Enjoyed this way more than I expected!

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4

less boring. bob had better songs, leonard had a better voice

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4

Love lyrics and music

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4

I liked this one pretty well.

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4

very good

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4

Une deocuverte, different de ses derniers alb7ms. J’aime bien 4*

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4

Thoughtful, slow, bit gloomy, beautiful lyrics

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4

Super slow and sad.

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4

Otro del bardo Cohen (?), me gustó menos que Songs of Leonard Cohen, pero sostengo que no es para mí. Hay momentos muy padres en el álbum, un gran letrista, pero por lo general, no me emociona tanto. La gran excepción (y mi canción favorita del disco) fue "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes". Fan de la canción, la letra, la instrumentación, la interpretación. 7.5/10

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4

he doesn't have any bad albums. I prefer "songs of Leonard cohen" but this is still good.

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4

Thought this would be a three as a bit slow, but very beautiful songs which stuck in my head

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4

Enjoyed this album, easy listening while working. Great songwriting and voice, I'd take Cohen over Dylan any day of the week.

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4

zZzZzZzZzZz (well, “You know who I am” was pretty cool, and has hit me quite hard. Serendipity is quite a thing, eh?)

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4

Cohen hé. Je weet wat je kan verwachten :)

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4

Está bueno pero no es su mejor disco, me parece. De todos modos es mejor que 3/4 partes de la mierda que salió en su año y la que sale en 2021.

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4

Some of his best

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4

Good

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4

Not his best but I still love any Leonard Cohen stuff

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4

Net zoals een van de vorige albums, zou dit album beter tot zijn recht komen na meerdere keren luisteren. 3.5 sterren

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4

Enjoyed this Cohen record, felt like a continuation of his first record for the most part, with his signature strumming and lyrics that can hit you like a brick ("I have tried in my way, to be free"). There's definitely a bit more country feel to it, though. Fav Tracks: Bird on a Wire, Story of Isaac, and The Partisan. Rating 3.5/5

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4

A beautiful and melodic folk album. 8.3/10

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4

dry and sardonic but overall pleasant. mouth harp made me laugh.

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4

Poetic. Lyrical. An album to return to at different times of your life. New meaning will be found. Beautiful songwriting, utterly enchanting.

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4

great

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4

This was great. I haven't been disappointed by a Cohen record so far. Lyrically, sonically, it just worked for me.

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4

It's 1969 and Cohen has released a singer-songwriter album. Very brave. Against the prevailing mood, carving a niche for a kind of subdued, lo-fi, intimate, personal lament. He's brilliant. (7/10) Favourite tracks: The Butcher, Bird on the Wire

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4

good. sometimes boring, sometimes great.

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4

Rätt nice sound

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4

Мелодичные баллады, основная ценность в лирике.

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4

8/10. The simplified music to emphasize the lyrics is a good style for Cohen, but I didn't enjoy most if the songwriting as much as I liked Songs of Leonard Cohen

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4

7/10 I enjoyed this, although it didn't really grip me. Leonard Cohen's songwriting is always cool and thought provoking.

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4

Quite chill, nice background music.

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4

Just a delightful listen.

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4

Beautiful song writing.

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4

Superb.

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4

Very nice

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4

Well Bird On A Wire is a great opener. Gloomy as hell, but mordantly funny with it. I love the partisan, but I am always a sucker for French. Seems So Long Ago, Nancy is a heartbreaker. The Old Revolution is once again a great funny one, "Even damnation is poisoned with rainbows" is a bloody brilliant lyric. And there isn't enough jaw harp in popular music! You know who I am is glorious and complex (AND HAS MORE JAW HARP).

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4

I actually really liked this album

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4

Schönes Album, toll zu hören!

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4

I'm looking forward to listening to this album. I've always meant to listen to more Leonard Cohen. Great poetic lyrics but not catchy tunes. Wonderful soulful voice, so compelling to listen to. Requires attention when listening since the songs are very much stories. Would be nice for still quiet time like on an airplane. The other page says the album should be \"you want it darker\" and that album is much more interesting musically, but the same evocative lyrics full of pathos and perfectly honed turns of phrase.

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4

a lovely album

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4

Before starting this project I just know one or two of Cohen's songs and know that he was considered a great songwriter. Listening to his songs gave me the opportunity to truly start to like his work. English is not my main language so I'm not able to get all from his songs, however with this second album listened to on this list I start to get why he is so important. One or two more albums and I'll be a real fan. :-)

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4

so simple and pretty. didn’t like the last songs that much though

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4

Fucking awesome, but praise the Lord it's so sad! Even my girlfriend cried!

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4

Neato

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4

Songs from a Room is an album I already own, but its not a working album I don't think! Definitely a sit and reflect over whiskey album, still great though!

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4

Great album that I'm very familiar with. More a 'sink into a comfy chair with a scotch' listen

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4

I like how short it is. I don't have much else to say though.

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4

I like the how he sings slower

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4

Definitiv keine Musik für das 21. Jahrhundert; Ich habe gestern versucht das Album auf dem weg zur Universität anzuhören und trotz Kopfhörern Leonard Cohen kaum gehört. Sagt das mehr über die Gesellschaft als über Songs From a Room? Wer weiß. Einige sehr gute Songs. Auf eine Art das Gegenteil von einem Konzeptalbum: Der Themensprung suizidale Jugendbekanntschaft zu Eichmann wird in einem Songwechsel vollzogen. Insgesamt nicht ganz mein Ding weil Lyrics mir nicht das wichtigste an Musik sind, aber denke ich werde das bestimmt nochmal anhören.

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4

Wasn't expecting to really like this, but this album cast a spell on me; it has a certain magic to it. Made me a bit emotional I really liked all the songs in minor keys, especially The Partisan. That song is pure enchantment to me

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4

There were moments of this that I loved. I think I would listen to it again but it just barely made the cut. It's pretty and sweet enough to be worth some more of my time.

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4

Another Leonard Cohen album. 4 🌟

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4

I only really knew Leonard Cohen's older, gravely voice before listening to this. Very interesting to hear him as a younger man, but with the same talent as a songwriter and lyricist.

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4

Production is spare but still pretty. (Personally, I would like a little bit more grit in it, but you can't have everything). mostly simple acoustic guitar and bass arrangements, augmented with occasional strings, distant organ, even a little bit of fuzz guitar. And Jew's harp, for that extra bit of spice. Leonard's voice is not great, but he can (usually) sell the damn song. I think the weakest vocal performance is Bird on a Wire. I think he was intimidated by the song (and a really world-class standard song it is), and it took him another 10 or more years to settle into it. The songs are so great. They are so evocative. I realize that he almost never talks in generalities or abstract concepts. He tells the story through vivid and concrete images. I love that approach to lyric writing.

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4

Good, solid Lenny but not his best.

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4

Though this album isn't as good overall as the ones preceding and succeeding it, the first track is one of the most low-down gut punches you'll ever hear opening an album. I wish I'd not read some random review calling attention to the fact that the mouth harp is used on every track, because now I can't unhear it. I guess it was always just something in the atmosphere of the music for me, but now it's center stage. Like all Cohen's records, this one is delicate, intimate, and oh-so confessional. A kind of gentle yet earnest wrestling.

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4

Similar to Songs of Love and Hate. Not quite peak Cohen

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4

Wasn’t he a nirvana lyric?

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4

Leonard Cohen i sooo good

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4

Very good

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4

To bardziej zbiór utworów poety niż piosenkarza. Cohen zabiera nas w emocjonalną wędrówkę przypominającą rozmyślenia o życiu po kilku głębszych podchodząc pod cienką granicę doomerstwa. Album kończy się równie szybko jak się zaczął i człowiek łapie się na tym, że nie do końca go docenił i należy go odsłuchać jeszcze raz.

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4

There's something charming about this album. Maybe it's the melancholic vocals, the soothing guitar, or both. Didn't know much about Cohen's music, but gotta say - after listening to "Songs From A Room" I want to explore more of his works. Hooked by the style, I guess. Or maybe I needed some intimate, toned music at the time of listening. Definitely not an album for every occasion, but a delightful treat for when it's needed. Highlight: The Partisan

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4

Bird on the Wire - uuughh Story of Isaac - YES A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes - meh. Good hook, appealing story, aggresively infuriating instrumentalisation The Partisan - YE-oh it's french. godddamnit. YE-meh on this one, closer to YES than meh Seems So Long Ago, Nancy - pleasant tune The Old Revolution - why banjoooo The Butcher - meh. uninspired. the album starts to drag, here tunes tunes good ending

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4

This is very sweet

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4

Beautiful

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4

Only the beginning… impressive!

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4

Undeniably a force in songwriting.

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4

Best Song: The Partisan. Haunting lyrics paired with sparse instrumentals, further assisted by the French chorus, which contrasts and elevates Cohen's ruddy, nasal voice. Worst Song: Story of Isaac. Lyrically beautiful, but this is Cohen, who can have a tendency towards vocal timidity, at his most quiet and disinterested in his delivery. Overall: Although I prefer Cohen's later work, when his voice was coarser and his lyrics darker, this is a good entry into Cohen's canon. Cohen's music is best listened to intentionally, not as background music. Quiet, contemplative poetry set to music. One of the best singer-songwriters of our time.

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4

nicely miserable montrealian gravelly nasal monotone

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4

I think these songs would be great in a movie. For a studio album, though, the melodies are a bit too bare.

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4

My favorite thing on this album is definitely the jaw harp. Really adds to the atmosphere and almost sounds like a synthesizer at times. Surprised that an instrument which seems so simple, almost like a toy, is able to be so expressive and versatile.

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3

nice classics!

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3

Kinda boring

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3

My favorite period of his but not my favorite album.

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3

Bird on a wire is a true classic, but the rest is very standard Leonard Cohen.

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3

Chill Cohen vibes

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3

Nice easy listening album

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3

3 starts i think, but a strong 3

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3

It's basically an old time rapping. Music is just there to be a background for a guy to "sing" his poems. Quite enjoyable, melancholic in it's slow tempo and emotional lyrics.

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3

niet slecht, beetje country achtig

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3

I think Leonard Cohen is a brilliant songwriter and lyricist, but I just can't get past his voice on his earlier work. The later, gravelly-voiced Cohen is much better for me. I'll give this 3 stars, as there are some great songs on here, especially Bird on the Wire.

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3

Perfect driving album

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3

I like the dour downbeat vibe, but sparse folk songs still not my cup of tea

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3

Folk. Pelín triste y aburrido.

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3

Highlight: The Partisan The strange mind of Leonard Cohen ranges from unlistenable to brilliant, sometimes even within the same song. I have a lot of respect for the his songwriting chops and its social commentary, but I have to be in the mood for it. Songs From A Room is no different, with the standout for me being The Partisan. This is probably the album I'd reach for if I was in the mood to listen to Cohen.

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3

Lovely vibes

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3

meh. Bird on a wire obviously class. the rest passes you by . think another 2 caught my attentions and i can't mind there names, This was half an hour ago. says it all. 3, just for bird.

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3

Soft and interesting

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3

Hallelujah

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3

Good but not amazing. Preferred his later stuff I think

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3

More crackin' wise from Laughin' Len. Sounds like there's someone pinging a plastic ruler on a tabletop in the background of each song. Weird production choice. BT: Bird on a Wire, Seems So Long Ago Nancy, Lady Midnight

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3

I'm biased as I had to hear this wayyy too much in the past and I wasn't really hyped to hear it again :P

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3

Een album om bij achterover te leunen en te luisteren naar de teksten. Kippenvel bij het Franse stuk in 'The Partisan'. Maar tegen het einde van het album had ik het wel gehad, moest niet veel langer zijn.

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3

Enjoyed sitting through this one. Admittedly my favourite track was 'the partisan' which is a cover. 3.5

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3

The songs themselves were good, with fantastic lyrics. However, it doesn't work as well as an album. All the songs sound the same, and there's no real flow. OK album.

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3

Cohen-esque halt. Schön und ruhig. Manchmal jedoch zu schön und zu ruhig.

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3

Ich war nicht so ganz bei der Sache, aber ganz nett.

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3

Nice album. Not as catchy as some of his other albums but strong lyrics. Some of the songs seem to have more of a country-folk feel. Great listen. Favorite songs: Bird on a Wire, The Partisan, A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes 3 stars

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3

I enjoyed The Old Revolution, but overall it wasn't my vibe. I can appreciate the slightly romantic/melancholic sound

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3

This album isn't bad, I don't have a very strong dislike of it. I think its neat however it isn't really my style.

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3

Had this on in the background while i worked on my PC - thought it ok, not one I would go looking for, but wouldnt turn it off if it was on. 3 stars

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3

Surprised by it, because I'm not really a fun of the genre, put it doesn't get boring at any point

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3

Mooi album, ga het nog eens beluisteren en meer naar de lyrics luisteren

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3

Rustaaaagh Maar wat is dat fluitje op dat laatste liedje, epic.

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3

I get that he was a great talent but I'm not so hot on this album

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3

Reminds me of Bob Dylan. Sounds like a storyteller.

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3

Similar vibe to his 1st brilliant album, but without the strong songs. I really like the pared-back instrumentation though, with his crisply-recorded acoustic guitar and vocals front & centre.

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3

Same as the other Leonard Cohen, pretty decent

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3

3.5/5. The more I listen to Leonard Cohen, the more I realize I have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy his music. I also realize that most of his songs sound similar. I don't know if I could tell the difference between two of his albums.

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3

Not as good as his debut or You Want It Darker which we've already listened to but still a very solid album.

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3

I tried playing "Songs From a Room" in the background while doing my morning routine and quickly learned that Leonard Cohen isn't really suited for that. I dig that his songs tells stories, I wish more modern artists would do that. The problem for me is that his vocal tone doesn't exactly make me want to sit down and really take them in. If an album is going to require me to focus on nothing else - it has to have something that draws me in and engages me. Cohen's monotone drawl doesn't do that for me. Like Bob Dylan, his song writing genius is undeniable but the listening experience is so polarizing that you're either into the extremely stylized sound or you're not.

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3

Not being much of a lyric listener, I guess the best part of this album was lost on me. Actually, the best part of this album is the Jew's harp. +2* for that.

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3

Strong 3. Not sure what I was expecting but wasn’t this. May revisit his music, but only if I have more time to digest it

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3

Initially I was turned off by the sort of stripped down nature of the recording and how sort of weak it makes his voice sound but as I got into the record I found it grew on me and came to enjoy that aspect of it. Noticed a weird buzzing noise in the back of the mix, really quiet. Turns out it's an instrument called a "Jew's Harp". Really interesting - never come across this before. Seems like it's on basically every track. I suspect this is a record that probably gets better with more listens. It's also of a certain mood and tends to be a bit one-note. I can see why it's on the list but it's not something that jumps out at you as a classic right away.

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3

Slow, old, unfamiliar

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3

The one song with electric guitar in it sounded amazing and I was really disappointed that Cohen didn't experiment further with that sound, instead opting for a fucking jaw harp in every song. 6

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3

Okay, not as good as his others. 6

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3

Pretty, but very similar to other classic Cohen LP's. Includes Story of Isaac

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3

3.5 stars

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3

A solid 2.5. Not unpleasant enough for a 2. Appreciated the talent and composition but just not really my thing hence got a 3.

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3

Felt like a lot of church music, not really my taste but not awful.

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3

Was ok

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3

This is the fourth album by Cohen that has been recommended by my feed. Cohen is a little bit like Bob Dylan for me. I think I like Cohen's song writing, but his singing not as much. All of the music was new to me off of this album. The one exception was "Bird on a Wire" which I've heard a cover of, ¿perhaps the Johnny Cash version? "Lady Midnight", "The Old Revolution", and "Story of Isaac" are tracks that I'd listen to again. The basslines of "Story of Isaac" brought me in to that song. Congratulations Leonard, another "okay" album

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3

I know people really rate Leonard Cohen, but I can't get over how he doesn't really sing his songs. Songwriting still mostly good but other people sing them better.

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3

Haven't listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen despite the fact the man is a national treasure in my country. The sound is sparse and has shades of early Dylan, but his vocal delivery is unique and his songs express more emotion. The album isn't essential, but the previous record, Songs of Leonard Cohen, his debut is. By comparison, Room is a letdown, but still a solid album. 3.5/5

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3

He's not as sad a bastard as I thought?

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3

Poetry in song--pure and simple. I'm not 100% into the aesthetic--some songs speak to me but a lot is lost. It is gorgeous, but it feels like nice old-school art in a museum that I'd pass by in favor of something shinier.

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3

No one tells a story quite like Leonard Cohen. That being said, this would not be my go to cohen album. The melodies feel like sad reflections of the stirring themes on songs of leonard cohen, and we don't yet get the more sonically interesting construction of songs of love and hate

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3

Very simplistic. Not outlandish instrumentals. There’s a unique instrument in the background. The guitar is beautiful. Very thoughtful lyrics, some very storytelling like. Sounds and lyrics seem to have a sullen, dark theme. Some biblical themes. Personally, I’m trying to get used to Cohens voice - I’m not sure it’s entirely for me. Although, I can see how it could be a very folk album like style, just simplistic in that sense. But I can completely see how people wild really like this. It’s easy to get into a trance listening to this album.

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3

More familiar with Songs of Love and HAte and the first album. This was decent but prefer those two albums. Need to explore Cohen a bit more.

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3

Unusual dark jazz

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3

I like this a lot.

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3

I liked the music and the lyrics, but I think I would like this a lot more if someone else was singing. There were times that it sounded like he actually had a good voice, but for the most part was purposely tired and pitchy.

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3

Chilled out, the album flew by without any real standout songs but also was more than happy listening to it

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3

More of the same from Leonard. 3 albums in and I have yet to figure out *why* he deserves to be on this list. Like it's all just fine.

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3

A peaceful drive home

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3

Pretty good

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3

Really enjoyed the husky tones and odd lyrics.

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3

Artful but still sort of boring.

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3

Respect but this was a tough listen

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3

It's ok. I was told he's a great story teller in his songs, but the lyrics didn't really convey that. The music was good though.

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3

Not as awesome as I expected, given his reputation, but I suppose there had been less music back when this came out. All the songs were pretty similar, but bird on a wire stood out as really good, rather than just quite good.

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3

I liked the album but was not exactly in the mood to appreciate it

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3

Góð plata en aðeins of róleg fyrir stemninguna þegar hún var spiluð

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3

Pretty good, I enjoyed Cohen's voice, and I look forward to seeing some of his other albums. Favorites: "Bird on the Wire", "Story of Isaac", "The Partisan"

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3

I kinda dig it. Not a big Leonard Cohen guy but I few of these worked for me

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3

ich hab das schon so oft probiert aber das gibt mir musikalisch nichts, also rein poetisch sind das nette bilder und geschichten aber selbst wenn ich mich darauf konzentriere holt mich das nicht so ganz ab. so lieder wo mehr passiert wie a bunch of lonesome heros oder the partisan find ich dagegen dann doch ganz schön

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3

ich mag die generelle Stimmung auf dem album ziemlich gern, den Raum von dem die Songs kommen würde ich gerne sehen. Aber es bleibt nicht viel hängen, die Songs gleichen sich einfach zu sehr.

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3

Kp gibt mir nicht viel so type musik aber war nicht langweilig das ist schon viel wert

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3

Nicht sein bestes aber Leonard Cohen chillt immer, mag den Stil, die Stimme und das Storytelling sehr

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3

sind ein paar echt gute songs dabei ( z.b. "bird on a wire"), viel kommt aber einfach nicht bei mir an. manche songs sind einfach uninteressant? die instrumentation ist hier sehr simpel, was aber nicht heißt, dass sie gut gemacht ist. die verwendung der maultrommel in der zweiten hälfte ist besonders unnötig und stellenweise sogar nervig

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3

Der raum muss ziemlich langweilig sein 🤣 ist schon in ordnung meistens wenn man sowas mal braucht aber 6 songs hören sich gleich an und das erste ist das interessanteste weil es bisschen streicher hat

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3

The guitar is great, and the lyrics are better. Most of the songs were hit or miss, with some that are more bland then others. The story telling is the highlight of the album. Favorite Songs: Story of Isaac, A Bunch of Lonesome Heros, "Seems So Long Ago, Nancy"

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3

Less inspiring to me than You Want it Darker

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3

Non lo so, saranno arance con mele, ma secondo me è meglio de andrè.

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3

Some solid songs, liked this more than I thought I would. Will definitely check out more of this

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3

Moody, sparsely rendered songs. I really like the guitar work and Cohen's songwriting is always interesting. I don't like the use of the mouth harp, which gives a kind of hokey vibe to an otherwise serious collection of songs. "The Partisan" is gorgeous with some really lovely guitar work and violin, best song on the album. Fave Songs: The Partisan; Bird on a Wire; Tonight Will Be Fine; Lady Midnight

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3

I get it, but it’s not for me I think

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3

Ægte Singer/songwriter, melankolsk, akustisk, fortællende

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3

3.7 - I love Leonard Cohen but I feel less strongly about this album. For me, the slack vocals and persistent fingerpicking work so supremely well when Cohen unbares some bone-deep pain, as on “Famous Blue Raincoat” or “So Long, Maryanne.” To be sure, there’s poetry and intimacy here, and some sense of longing. But the emotions don’t seem to cut so deep, making the entire affair feel kind of sleepy.

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3

I'd never actually listened to a Leonard Cohen song beyond Hallelujah. I know he was greatly revered for his music and I get it after listening to this. It's pretty good and I love his lyrics. Great stuff and very chill vibe. 3.5/5

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3

bruuuuh det är som om ajag var musiker

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3

Personally would not have put this on this list. Not his best album, still cool. Cohen is as poetic as ever, and the prominence of sounds such as the mouth harp gives the album it’s own identity

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3

Love Cohen. This album did lose my attention however.

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3

I like Leonard Cohen more than I thought I would before I'd listened to him. However, this is not his best work. His voice sounds a bit thin here, and it hurts the overall feeling of the album. The beauty of his poetry is still here, but it just doesn't sound as good 3/5

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3

Much like the previous offering from Cohen, very decent minor key stories. Voice sounds like it never really gets to where it should be

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3

Great writer. I like some of his material but wasn’t big on this album.

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3

Ever wanted to wake up and take a nap? "He threw the bottle over, broke a minute later, and he put his hand on mine." was this a weird Doctor Who episode where they were drinking from the upper edge of the troposphere and engaged in active littering? Jaw harp. Interesting add, but it works here and its modest usage is worth noting. In fairness, at the time of this review the desire for a bit more energy skews the favorability one might have for this album on some other lazy day. Unlike many songwriter/singers (the inverted labeling is intentional) Leonard Cohen's offerings here are fine at best. His lyrics are a bit interesting at times, and musically there is nothing super amazing about it, but at the least he does sing with his music rather than in opposition to it. It seems that some songwriters when writing their songs, treat the music as an afterthought because the focus is on the writing/lyrics. This is fine, there are people who certainly prefer one over the other. However, where Cohen does excel over songwriters like that, is that he seems to have given equal effort to the lyrics and music working in harmony together. His songs present a complementary experience of verse and song rather than a contradictory one. This complementary presentation soothes (or bores, depending on the day) the brain, and if the energy of an album is going to be low like this, then this is how it might should be done.

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3

Coulda used more Jew’s harp.

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3

Quality lyrics from a brooding man. Music was nice but not incredible got the feeling that if I listened it loads I'd love it.

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3

Sorry, but the songs sound too much samey.

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3

Not as bad as I expected it to be.

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3

Not bad

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3

Enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

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3

Strong 3, he do know how to use his voice

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3

Predictable I know but he's a bit dour and dull...I think the lyrics look great written down (hey, he was a poet first) Can you whistle a tune from this 2nd) album? Bird on a Wire? No, nothing! The words alone are not enough. If Len sounds bored singing it then surely I'm allowed to be bored listening to it. Also, too many tracks with a Jews Harp. (Is this still an acceptable term?) He looks really good in a hat though.

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3

Rating: 6/10 Best songs: The partisan

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3

A continuation of the last few Cohen albums I’ve gotten. I’m still not sure about him, I definitely prefer his younger voice here though.

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2

still don't get it. never will.

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2

was alright

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2

Some nice songs, but don't particularly like the instrumentation. And the Jew's harp throughout is an annoying and unnecessary distraction.

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2

Not my thing

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2

he really loves that mouth harp

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2

Good singing voice and some nice ballads

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2

Es ist so lang her, dass Hemingway im Spanischen Bürgerkrieg mitgewirkt hat. Eine völlig andere Welt, aus der auch dieses Werk stammt. Bis auf den nostalgischen Zauber vermag es nur „The Partisan“ einen Glanz zu bewahren, der noch bis zu uns hindurch funkelt. Angelaufene 2.0

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2

Sounded like your classic talking music, even had a didgeridoo in a number of the songs. Not a massive fan (not of the didgeridoo, just Leonard Cohen)

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2

I like LC, but not this album

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2

Bit dull, his voice is too clean here. I like the rasp.

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2

I just can't get past his voice. The music is well written but his voice bores me. 2*

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2

2/5 Very gloomy and depressive

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2

couldn't really be arsed with this at all. i know people love to bum leonard cohen but on the basis of this album i don't get it. i like the australian noise that was on most of the songs though. twanging away like rolf harris down the primary school.

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2

Lovely lyrics and imagery, but best sung by other artists. Cohen’s writing is amazing.

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2

Sounds folksy and not something I'd usually listen to. It's aged music that is too poetic for today's fast paced cultures. The first song - Bird on the Wire - stands out from the rest.

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2

This music is not for me. Didn't finish the album

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2

I get why people would like this and I get what he was trying to do, but this style of music isn't for me, also his voice is not to spectacular either, but I get he was just trying to tell a story.

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2

a bunch of lonesome heroes is het eerste nummer dat me wat grijpt

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2

Unbearably glum.

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2

-A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" actually picks up in intensity -idk I really hate singer songwriter because it is so boring

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2

I really liked the album he wrote as he was dying a few years back- but wrongly attributed his predicament as his muse for songwriting - seems like that emotion was there even in the 70s. I’m sure it gives orgasms for mono-tone vocal lovers, but didn’t do it for me.

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2

its like singer songwriter music but with weird instruments

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2

I feel like I'm listening to the same song over and over again. And it's not a good song.

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2

Long, kinda dull

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2

Had high expectations knowing of Leonard Cohen’s reputation as a songwriting legend, but I’m not quite getting this one. Songs are a little too bare bones for my taste. Doesn’t seem up to the same level other legendary folk artists were on by 1969, like Dylan.

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2

Cohen can be better.

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2

Leonard Cohen is apparently a revered singer-songwriter. And this album is one of those... contemporary folk, according to Wikipedia... albums. To be fair, he has a cool and chill voice, and the instrumentals are gentle. Together, these elements effectively builds a melancholic or even gloomy atmosphere, something that a lot of people, including me, would find boring in high doses. But I guess that's what it's all about. Poetry being delivered with music in the best possible way. I respect him for that. But this album would only work as a lullaby playlist or a background music for me. Not a big fan of super moody stuffs.

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2

2/5 - Fell asleep during the listen. Not really for me

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2

Same as the last Cohen album I got.

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2

Interesting lyrics, love the folk rock style, but my man Leonard Cohen can't sing. And it hurts the album tremendously. When I say "interesting", it doesn't always mean good. I found it tough to get through. Highlight Tracks: 1, 3, 4

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2

Nope. Didn’t like that

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2

I just can't get behind Cohen's music. Though I will admit that this is more enjoyable that some other stuff I have heard. His younger voice is easier to listen to.

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2

Okay. Some interesting songs like The Partisan but I found it too stripped back and monotonous. I’m still failing to get Cohen.

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2

Don't listen to this album if you're feeling depressed - it just might push you over the edge! The first track is utterly depressing and makes Cohen's voice sound awful. The second track is about Biblical child sacrifice. Fortunately the album picks up a bit after that.

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2

4/10 Very calm=very boring

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2

Ok if you're into that shit

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2

For whatever reason, I just can't get into it.

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2

Zwar hab ich schon mehrere Morddrohungen und "kys"s für diese Meinung bekommen aber ja das Album ist leider öde sorry!! ok ein paar Songs sind schon echt ganz schön und die production ist sehr geil

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2

Leonard Cohen has achieved legendary status. This album is dull.

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2

Made me sleepy, also, I thought he could sing more in tune than this.

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2

No es mi estilo. Sin pena ni gloria. No hay ningún tema que me haya emocionado

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2

I have never heard the spoons played so earnestly. Peak of self indulgent folk. Feels a little misogynistic and self centered, too. Too close to Bob Dylan for comfort, but also close to Velvet Underground, which I enjoy. Altogether a little confusing. Highlight of album "Tonight Will be Fine"

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2

Dokładnie to, czego się spodziewałem, w końcu Cohen to Cohen. Tu w swoim młodszym wydaniu, wg mnie bynajmniej nie lepszym. Cohen nie potrafi śpiewać dobrze. Dlatego zapewne jest tak monotonny, żeby nie wychodzić poza wąski zakres, w którym jakoś brzmi. Oczywiście melodie nudne, tekst też nie jest jakoś tak porywający czy ambitny znowu, żeby to rekompensował - lepiej już poezję sobie poczytać. Nie słucha się tego nieprzyjemnie, nigdy nie wrócę. Cohen jest spoko jako element jakiejś dużej składanki, ale jako cały album to nie działa. Zwłaszcza ten album, bo przeczuwam, że będą kolejne (lepsze). Dałbym 1.5, gdybym mógł. Z 1 nie przesadzajmy, jako muzyka w tle to w miarę działa.

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2

Cohen świetnie pisał teksty i muzykę pod nie, kreując w ten sposób muzyczną opowieść. Niestety, moim zdaniem, te opowieści brzmią lepiej w wykonaniu bardziej utalentowanych artystów. Ani wokal, ani gitara nie brzmią specjalnie wyjątkowo, wstawki harmonijki i chórki kobiece niestety nie ratują sytuacji. W "Bird on the Wire" mam wrażenie, że Cohen po prostu fałszuje. Niestety wydaje mi się, że jestem zbyt młody, by docenić ten typ muzyki. Ciężko mi też przyzwyczaić się do melancholijnego, amerykańskiego folku.

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2

esta culero

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2

I was hungover, couldn't stomach Leonard Cohen that day.

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2

A few songs in and I wasn't feeling this album. Shame since I've been looking forward to listen to more songs by Leonard Cohen.

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2

Its not the way I know Leonard, but his earlier albums sound to me like he has been on the helium. Later albums would get 4 or 5 stars

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1

Meh

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super slow and uninteresting

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1

RIP. Just not a fan

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1

Struggled with this one.

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1

Folk is just so very boring. Senseless talking over guitars 1/10.

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1

I could be forgiven for thinking I’ve already listened to this album as a result of rating such a high percentage of folk/acoustic lp’s since the start of my musical ranking journey. My point being, this genre all sounds the the same to me. I mean what is there sonically that differs Cohen to Dylan to Neil Young for example, except for alternate decades? Nothing differentiates their sound enough to keep me interested when I wasn’t interested to begin with. 1 Star!

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Wasn’t he a nirvana lyric?

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I can’t finish it. Got 3 tracks in and holy shit it’s boring. Think if Bob Dylan was more verbose and less talented.

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1

Brutal

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1

Not a fan of Leonard Cohen

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1

1.25

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Sorry, but he didn't do it for me.

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1

hell fucking no opa ich hör dir nicht ne stunde beim rumheulen zu :mittelfinger:

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1

Ik vind rustige muziek niet erg, maar dit is echt slaapverwekkend. Zzzzzz..... *

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1

The legend. Lennon said to Dylan, he doesn't listen to the lyrics, just the energy of the song. That's me too.

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Not a fan

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You are shitting me. Exceptionally dull backing music and head up his arse poet talking over the top. Dreadful.

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1

The first song was good, but the rest of it was so boring.

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1

Songs From A Panic Room. ... Ok I was gonna try - honest - but literally from the first note ("note") I hated this. His terrible up-front vocals drenched in reverb upon more reverb over slow slice-your-wrist songs are not my bag. Which begs the question: whose bag are they? Yeah yeah poetry genius whatever. David Lee Roth wasn't a poet (or was he...) and/but used humour dammit and had Eddie by his side making some entertainment. This is not entertaining. I've had two LC albums thus far. I can think of ... a hundred? 200? artists I *hate*...that I'd rather have two albums from. Easily. Bring me Liz Phair's Greatest Monotone Middle School Naughty Words! Bring me Bon Jovi's Worst Ballads! Sigh. (...actually don't...) ...now i'm scared. Are there more Leonards?? Please say there won't be any more. [brain: ...say something nice... say something nice...] He's Canadian! [brain: invalid. ...where are the Rheostatics?...there should be at least 4 of their albums... try again; Canadian alone is worthless] Um, he's like a slightly less smacked out Lou Reed? [brain: ...what is wrong with you ... this is your base-level bar? we cannot stand anything about Lou Reed, remember? that's not a bar - that's a concrete floor. Again.] well. um...it's only 36 minutes so it'll be over soon.... [brain: ...GAK...send help - there is no way this is only 36 minutes it feels like days...brain dying...] 1/10 1 burned out dim star.

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oh my god. i felt like this album was genuinely five years long. it sounds like he grabbed a bunch of sentences from his behind and scrambled them together then added a strum of a guitar. no offence :) but he is literally awful

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Generalnie to lubię piosenki Cohena, przeważnie w wykonaniu innych artystów, ale ten album jest bardzo monotonny ze względu na bardzo nieciekawy wokal samego Cohena. Pomimo tego, że lubię takie sobie posłuchać takich spokojniejszych, gitarkowych utworów, znacznie lepiej się bawiłem czytając teksty, które uważam, że są całkiem dobre, niż słuchając albumu, a chyba nie o to chodzi w muzyce. W tle nie dzieje się za wiele, ale za to w wokalu nie dzieje się nic, jedyny moment w którym jakkolwiek zainteresowałem się brzmieniem to "The Partisan", gdzie sam Cohen jest absolutnie zagłuszony przez znacznie ciekawiej brzmiącą wokalistkę, ale trwało to za krótko, żeby jakkolwiek zmienić moją opinię. Pomimo bardzo krótkiego czasu album mi się dłużył, co dodatkowo skłania mnie żeby wstawić mu taką ocenę.

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1

This one is a pretty hard listen. The production is pretty bare, the songs are simple. The vocals are pitchy but emotional. I get the feel of the album, and honestly would have like it a lot more if it wasn't for that stupid jaw harp through the whole damn album. If you're not familiar with a jaw harp, also called a jew harp for some reason, you fucking are now after getting through this album. Everyone who actually listened to this knows what I'm talking about too. It's the weird thing that sounds like the spring door stop in the bathroom that for some reason gets a 35 minute solo over the course of this record.

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1

Boring!

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No, sorry, I'm not even going to listen to this. I've heard enough already.

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1

Awful. I can't stand his voice - it's just boring boring boring to listen to. The lyrics might be good but his voice grates too much for me to try and appreciate whatever he is droning on about. My mother in law will be disappointed as he is (was) one of her favorite singers. Sorry mum!

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Story of Isaac sucks ass. I really don't see the appeal of this guy. He is continually flat, has the intonation of a dead goldfish and is just not interesting to listen to. Tonight Will Be Fine adds insult to injury with a goddamn recorder and whistle solo.

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1

Ich kann das nicht hören und ich kann nichts damit anfangen.

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Pas ouf

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