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

I'm Your Man

Leonard Cohen

1988

I'm Your Man

Album Summary

I'm Your Man is the eighth studio album by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, released on February 2, 1988 by Columbia Records. The album marked Cohen's further move to a more modern sound, with many songs having a synthesizer-oriented production. It soon became the most successful album which Cohen had released in the US, and it reached number one in several European countries, transforming Cohen into a best-selling artist.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.14

Votes

4212

Genres

  • Folk
  • Rock
  • Singer Songwriter
Reviews
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4

In my younger days I used to go to a pub called the Winchester, which was in Bournemouth, for what was an 'anything goes' night. Any band or artist could book a slot, irrespective of talent, which made it a great opportunity to see some oddballs. You mostly got youthful hipsters or anti-music noise bands (one act once cranked out guitar feedback for half an hour), but one time a middle-aged guy with a beer gut and receding hairline showed up with a Casio keyboard and played a set that sounded almost exactly like I'm Your Man (if played solely on a cheap keyboard). All the songs were about his divorce and how much he missed his kids. Four stars.

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3

There are lyrics-first listeners. There are music-first listeners. I think lyrics-first listeners are more rare, and I bet all of them love Leonard. We music-firsters won't give the lyrics the time of day unless the sound hits right. Leonard is a wonderful poet and this album sounds pretty bad. I dated a girl who thought I'm Your Man was one of the sexiest songs of all time. I can feel the message, but why deliver it over a Casio keyboard? My only guess comes from the banana - the hilarious banana Leonard is eating on the cover in a cool suit and shades. Maybe age taught him that there's a joke underneath everything serious and heavy. If you want to deliver heavy lyrics, maybe it makes more sense to drape them in a funny soundscape, complete with ironic-cheesy backing vocalists. Deep poetry, banana music. B

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2

if anyone tells you this is their favorite cohen album run far away

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1

Sounds like a PSA for the dangerous of cocaine. Leonard re-establishes that he's a total creep. I hate this so much.

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3

On one hand, the songwriting here is undeniably stellar, and his voice can absolutely put me in a trance. On the other, so much of the instrumentation and arrangement is just absolutely NOT for me. It really depends on the song to see which one wins out on this album.

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2

Sounds like a bootleg 80s synths Johnny Cash.

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5

“I’m Your Man” by Leonard Cohen (1988) This album does not disappoint on any level. Leonard Cohen’s strong poetic lyrics on this record are, as always, deeply immersive. With scrappy and sometimes scattered allusions that successfully beg for the listener’s thoughtful reflection, his songs are always perfectly cadenced and well synthesized, each one tied together by unifying (and frequently quite dark) themes. From the understated horror of the pretense of normality in the midst of a plague (AIDS, in “Everybody Knows”) to the tortured feelings of a man who still loves a woman he knows he’ll never get back (“I’m Your Man”), to the insidious insertions of jazz riffs into pop fusion compositions (“Jazz Police”), Cohen is consistently intriguing. The musical settings all sustain interest (although “Take This Waltz” struggles in this department). And all are capably performed by Cohen, with his signature croaky baritone, and his excellent backing musicians. But the song that commands all the attention on this album is the opening track “First We Take Manhattan”. Cohen himself called it “a terrorist song”—a ballsy response to the (anti-Semitic/anti-Israel) terrorism that was growing in the 1980’s. From the 1970 Munich bus attack to the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre to the 1980 Munich Oktoberfest bombing to the 1982 bombing attack at Berlin’s Mifgash-Israel restaurant to the 1985 Frankfurt Airport bombing, Jews in the West had understandably had enough. In response to that physically violent terrorism (for which he had a qualified respect), Cohen offered this song as an act of retaliatory ‘psychic terrorism’: “First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin”. In an interview, Cohen explained the song with an analogy to a poem by his friend and mentor Irving Layton (“Terrorists” in The Pole-Vaulter, Toronto, 1974) which he paraphrased: “Well, you guys blow up an occasional airline and kill a few children here and there, But our terrorists, Jesus, Freud, Marx, Einstein. The whole world is still quaking...”. The references to “you guys” and “our” should be obvious. The sentiment that Cohen inherits and alters (from Layton’s poem: “Jewish terrorists, ah: Maimonides, Spinoza, Freud, Marx”) is that while anti-Semitic terrorism kills the body, Jewish ‘terrorism’ changes the cultural soul (cf. Matthew 10:28). [Hat tip to Prof. Louis Schwartz of the University of Richmond for the Irving Layton poem connection]. Now whatever one thinks of this hyper-volitional notion of cultural “Jewish terrorism” Leonard Cohen delivers it both vocally and musically with shudderingly haunting power. Cosmic, apocalyptic, militaristic, and almost gleefully anticipatory of the moment of vengeance, Cohen’s lyric calls us to take stock of the world soul in the midst of this conflict. You don’t want to go there. But maybe you have no choice. This one track, “First We Take Manhattan”, is reason enough to listen to I’m Your Man, not just for entertainment, but for insight, no matter whose ‘side’ you’re on. 5/5

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5

I had heard some of Leonard Cohen's music before, but always as stand-alone songs, and even though I was always so drawn in and intrigued by his music, I don't know why but I never really listened to whole albums or watched concert videos or anything like that. Now, after having listened to this album all the way through, I most certainly will. What a fascinating artist. A wonderful dark yet somehow quite light meandering, layers and textures, lyrically poetic, so many things evoked. LOVE his voice; reminds me of espresso. Wish I had seen him perform live. I need to learn more. PS -- not sure if the nod to The Police's 'Every Breath You Take' in 'Ain't No Cure For Love' via the arpeggiating guitar underneath the verses (my ear isn't good enough to tell you if the chord progression is the same, but it sounds similar) is intentional, but it's cool (not being snarky...so many songs sound like each other that I don't too hung up on requiring artists to be "original" -- heck, no doubt if we really want to we could probably find a bunch of older songs that sound like 'Every Breath You Take' and then a bunch of even older songs that sound like those, etc.

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5

One of my favourite albums

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5

Last week I said 'you want it darker' was perhaps Cohen's best album but I had obviously forgotten about this masterpiece. Cohen's razor sharp lyricism is matched with a rocking synth based sound. Every song is a classic.

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4

че-то я угарнул, конечно, когда вместо акустики начался синтвейв какой-то. но внимательно послушал несколько раз. конечно, уже не совсем то, чем были «Songs of...», чувствуется более коммерческая жилка, Манхэттен — настоящий хит (кстати, у Джо Кокера неплохой кавер на неё был). Ну и лирика меня прямо калила в некоторых местах, какой-то куколдизм проклёвывался время от времени. с таким голосом разве о бабах нужно страдать... ну не суть, дед всё равно малаца, за First We Take, Jazz Police и Everydoby Knows можно четверочку въебать. Вернее я теперь решил ставить оценки по 10-баллке для большего размаха, поэтому пусть будет 7

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3

Haha they love Leonard Cohen, huh? This is better than the other one we reviewed, but it's not my thing. He sounds like an off-brand Roger Waters. Best songs are the first couple. I have to say I like Concrete Blonde's Everybody knows much more. Still glad I was exposed to this since he is everywhere now that I know who he is.

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3

A quinessential case of an exceptionally talented, middle-aged artist hitting 80s production styles in the same way a roast dinner hits the floor: you can salvage quite a tasty bit, but some will need to be thrown away, and you'll ultimately be left disappointed. The alum's strength is obvious: here are some of Leonard Cohen's best, sharpest lyrics, blades dipped in lemon juice. Oft wry, indeed comical, the whole album has a slightly sleazy overtone; one is much reminded of Serge Gainsbourg in its erotomanic cynicism, especially on Everybody Knows' bitter rationalization that everyone is in on life's big con. The album's end, Tower of Song, is Cohen's great apologia to the craft of songwriting, a monumental track that still holds the power to make listener shiver. However, the album has a critical flaw: the music (which seems rather an important flaw for an album to have). Cohen employs his synths and drum machines almost recklessly (and Jazz Police can be considered a fully reckless employment), and thus the album becomes stuck in such an archaic aesthetic that often the nod a top-notch couplet inspires is married to an involuntary wince at the Casio beat (and trust me, I'm not at all averse to synthpop). The best songs on this transcend that limitation, and maybe a more acceptive listener could relish the musical direction Cohen takes, but I found appreciating the greatness on this album required recognising a few caveats.

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2

This one was super weird. Love the imagery and turn of phrase in the songwriting; absolutely hate the backing vocals and the corny string arrangements. A baffling album. Best track: Tower of Song

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1

Leonard Cohen plus 80s synths, drum machines and production--what could possibly go wrong? As ever, Leonard Cohen's poetry is pointed and lucid. The challenge for Cohen has always been to come up with music that hopefully enriches his lyrical content or at the very least, doesn't make you want to hurl. Not surprisingly, he fails miserably here. Having listened to two of Cohen's later albums beginning to end, it's apparent that his compositional style has remained remarkably consistent throughout the years. All that really changes are superficial styles and instrumentation. This hasn't hurt Leonard Cohen commercially or critically, which is a bit surprising. Why is everyone so eager to give Leonard Cohen a pass? I'm reminded of a quote from the movie Chinatown: "Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."

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1

I can see why some people would like this album, interesting lyrics, but not for me.

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1

This was by far the worst album I’ve received on this list so far. I just don’t understand the hype for Leonard Cohen. Not only are his vocals terrible to listen to. His lyrics are nothing exciting. And the production was the most cheap 80s sound You could imagine. The only song with any redeeming production was “Take This Waltz.” “I’m your man is just a horny man lamenting about love over a cheap rip off of Pink Floyd’s synths from shine on you crazy Diamond. “Jazz Police” is right, because somebody needed to arrest this man for the music he was making. “Tower of Song” was actually alright as a closer, or maybe I was just happy that the album was over.” First we take manhattan - 2 Ain’t no cure for love - 1 Everybody Knows - 2 I’m your man - 1 Take this waltz - 3 Jazz police - 1 I can’t forget - 2 Tower of song - 2 Total 14/40 1.75/5

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5

Classic. Leonard is not the strongest singer but the lyrics maku up for it all.

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5

This morning we have Leonard Cohen and his album "I'm Your Man." I've loved Leonard Cohen for as long as I can remember. Tower of Song and Everybody Knows? Five stars no doubt. The other songs are great and I'm Your Man also a highlight. The synthesizers and 80s style music doesn't sound dated like so much of the music of the period. As mentioned in some reviews, his voice sounds engaged and lively, and this was exactly the music I needed on this cold February morning. It's like taking a trip with an old friend. Living in Leonard's world is always a welcome respite. Leonard and Johnny Cash are who I would always turn to in very difficult times. After 9/11 I listened to nothing but Cash for weeks on end. On the morning after election 2016, I was in shock and feeling very lost - Leonard came through to help me feel whole. Everybody Knows! In it's original context! The pandemic has been fucking brutal lately, thanks Leonard for helping to help me feel sane and okay again.

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5

Such an amazing album. Four of the songs are all-time classics, with Everybody Knows being one of the greatest songs ever written. The synthesizers are a little cheesy, but I have to give this one 5 stars.

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5

No bad songs, so many great ones. Would've given it 4.5 stars if I could because it's not a 'perfect' record.

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5

MUY GUAY

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5

O cara é foda, que vibe maravilhosa!!

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5

Una maravilla infinita.

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5

Obvious 5

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5

One of his best.

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5

Mjy buen albúm, de lo mejor de Leonard Cohen

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5

Amazing album. Has loads of my favourite Cohen songs! Could listen to this one forever

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5

Very nice album Love the dark witty lyrics Paul Simon singer/songwriter vibes Everybody Knows, I'm Your Man, Jazz Police and Tower of Song were particular favourites

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5

The easy way the music entangles with the lyrics show the mark of a poet in love, in love with music, with women, with love, , with life and death. Easy to listen, easy to remember, impossible to forget.

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5

Favoriete nummers: - First We Take Manhattan - Take This Waltz - Jazz Police

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5

One of the classics I've never heard of that is so good

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5

Great Album!!

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5

Great 80s LC album, even though I usually skip 1-2 songs. The last two songs are very strong have been greatly improved by covers of the Pixies and Nick Cave, respectively. And the same holds for the opening song (by REM)

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5

Love it! Dreaming away with that voice

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5

Leonard Cohen proves he isn't just a miserabilist. Brilliant album.

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5

Leonard never was the most photogenic guy around but his banana photo sure does work. This album was a continuation of Leonard trying to freshen up his sound. This and Various Positions are the two original studio albums of his that I played the most. So I guess that means the fresh sound worked for me although I never really liked First We Take Manhattan and Jazz Police which are the most freshened up.  There are some monster songs on here. Everybody Knows, I’m Your Man and Tower of Song are classics and showcase his sense of humour. The best lyrics from a purely artistic sense are in Take This Waltz. It’s the masterpiece on this album.

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5

Un dels grans clàssics de la década. Tots temes inoblidables amb algunes de les millors lletres de cançons dels 80, musicades amb un estil molt del moment però que en el seu cas no ha passat de moda. Fins i tot els dos únics talls que no han sonat fins a l'extenuació des d'aleshores, 'Jazz Police' i 'I Can't Forget' mereixen ser revisitats cada poc temps

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5

This guys voice is like being lowering into a steaming hot bath.

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5

I’m a big fan of Leonard Cohen’s warm, cozy style and this album stood out to me for using more retro instruments I wouldn’t have expected but still super cozy sound; like if Nick Cave made the Runescape soundtrack overall amazing album, 10/10

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5

A true classic, very 80’s vibe

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5

Beautiful and cool

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5

I’m all about Leonard Cohen and for me this is the pinnacle of his latter career albums. Lyrically impeccable and musically precise, even the singing (it’s hard to deny that Cohen increasingly was a singer in spite of his voice as he aged) delivers perfectly suited to the material.

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5

LC has a fantastic voice. Some real cool instrumentals in this album. Reminds me of a mash of white rabbit (George benson) and some nick cave. Course LC came first but still cool to hear those similarities

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5

the only song i knew of leonard cohen before this album was "everybody knows". while i was looking forward to that song, i wasn't aware i'd fall in love with the rest of the album. there's a great mixture of topics and cohen touches different genres, but there's a cohesiveness despite that. it isn't easy to create an album with every song being unique! this is a well crafted album. cohen's deep, gravelly voice adds to the album. his voice allows the songs to be lyric driven. you can hear and focus on every single line! you hear his message and thoughts that much clearer. singing with his kind of voice makes for something beautiful. "ain't no cure for love" in particular grabbed me. well, if by "grabbed me" means i mean "listened to on repeat," then yeah. jennifer warnes' vocals paired with cohen's are quite powerful. "first we take manhattan," while catchy, creates such an image for the listener. then there's "take this waltz," which maybe should seem out of place on this album but it isn't. it's a beautiful opening to side two. as mentioned earlier, cohen dabbles in a few genres: classical, country, jazz--perhaps ironically in "jazz police". i like the album cover very much. it's a simple shot, really. this shot being an accident makes me think those might be the best kinds of album covers.

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5

LP

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5

I love Leonard Cohen, and for me this album ist the absolute high point of his second phase, perhaps even his best overall together with You Want it Darker. The songwrighting is stronger than ever here, with every single song being different, and almost every single song being a masterpiece. (Jazz Police is so-so). The lyrics are unmatchedly deep and witty, with Cohen's dry humor shining through in most of the eight tracks. To the casual listener, it might sound like a typical 80s record, but the arrangements often are even more stripped down than that, and generally fit the lyrics pretty well. The most important instrument, however, is Cohen's voice, which is deeper here than ever. - Could Cohen sing? You can argue about that, but whatever he is doing with it, his voice is more expressive than what most other artists can muster. To quote from Tower of Song, the final song on this album: "I was born like this, I had no choice, I was born with the gift of a golden voice." 5/5

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4

7/10

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4

This was really nice. I'm still getting used to Leonard Cohen's tone, but I quite enjoyed each and every song.

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4

Pretty good, my man Leonard Cohen

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4

Leonard Cohen is my man

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4

Not sure how to feel about the more pop feel but the lyrical songs make up for it I guess

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4

Very up and down - some great tracks, some that didn't age well.

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4

Great album, you can really hear the influence of 80's pop and new wave, but it's infused seamlessly into Cohen's stripped back style.

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4

This was my first Leonard Cohen album and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was especially not ready for dark and brooding lyrics for over plasticy eighties synth production. It seemed like the entire album was digital instruments but somehow hardly felt cheesy or fake. I enjoyed it and can see the depth of Cohens lyrics. Jazzer, drop your axe, it's Jazz police

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4

"First We Take Manhattan" is a fantastic track. I really like Leonard Cohen clearly from previous rankings, but this one with its synths, holds a special place for me.

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4

yo what did i just listen to it’s like the italian mob and love songs made this. It’s pretty good though

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4

Very cool album. Cohen has this deep, soft voice, that just pierces you. Most of the songs are very calm, which gives it a cool feel. Cohen is the one who first performed "Hallelujah" This is one of his later albums. He began 1967, this album is from 1988.

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4

Very cool album!

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4

Iconic singer

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4

Now this is an ominous yet silly album. I am shocked by how much I like this. Vocals are a little odd but endearing, content is just a thinly veiled joke. Keep telling 'em Leonard.

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4

Leonard does the 80s. Cohen is a poet first musician 2nd and throughout this is lyrically fascinating but the most impressive slight of hand he performs here is producing an album that is both unmistakably him but also pure 80s. Maybe I need a few listens to dampen my enthusiasm but having only really known Cohen's big hits like Marianne, Suzanne and Hallelujah, I have been a little blown away by the two albums of his this group has thrown up. Its clear how hes influenced other artists I love, particularly Nick Cave. The man was a Genius. Truly the Godfather of gloom. Highlights: Everybody Knows, Tower Song. 4/5 but close to my 3rd 5.

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4

I like this one so much better than the last leonard cohen album. Thought his voice was great n deep, and the synth popped

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4

Very pleasantly surprised. Enjoyable listen that. 4/5

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4

Liked Lenny’s style…. Good one!!!

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4

It was much better than the last Cohen album. Just adding better instrumentation helped to make the songs enjoyable.

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4

The mans voice is awesome.

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4

Interesting, yet odious experimentation with 80s synthesizers along great ballads. My first Leonard Cohens album, liked it a lot

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4

Surprisingly groovy and quite synthy at times

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4

Smooth and easy, really like his voice.

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4

Great album. I really enjoyed the vibe all the way throughout. He has this quiet energy that sort of encompasses everything your doing while you listen.

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4

the lyrics are good the 80s seem fun

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4

Fantastic, love Leonard Cohen.

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4

Tower of Song - one of my favourites

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4

A cornucopia of musical flavours, some industrial, some serene, Jazz police was a dud but hey that's the eighties.

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4

Smooth, voice like caramel.

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4

Great songs...dated 80s production. Did I mention Great songs!

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4

Three songs in all three songs are good. Everybody Kows is excellent. If I were to nit pic I could complain about the 80s production sounding somewhat dated. But the quality of the songs transcends any complaints about production. First half stronger than second half. But, Tower of Song is a solid album closet. I feel like it's a 4, his earlier albums are slightly stronger .

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4

I love this album one of my all time favourites

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4

I liked it much more than I thought initially. It's strange to listen to it so "sad" songs with this electronically vibe, but the Cohen voice is so interesting that hypnotizes anyone independentilly of the song. For sure, I'll include it in my favorite albuns list.

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4

4/5. Classic Cohen, even with the 80s vibe, he still is amazing. Standouts: First We Take Manhattan, Everybody Knows, I'm Your Man, Tower of Song,

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4

Questo album non era quello che mi aspettavo. Sono riuscito ad ascoltarlo una sola volta e mi ha lasciato l'esigenza di sentirlo ancora. L'impressione è positiva, l'utilizzo di strumenti elettronici ricorda per certi versi anche i Kraftwerk e lo stile canoro, in linea al trend degli anni 80, nonostante tutto mi piace e non risulta eccessivo. Il voto per me è 3.5 ma che premio con qualcosa in più.

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4

very foundational music!

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4

Ok so I really love 4 of these songs, 3 of them are very good and 'Jazz Police' really belongs on a completely different album? Really threw off the vibes with that one Leonard. Still though, great album

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4

Very Noir, light simple instrumentation and a smooth deep voice singing poetry. The whole album reminds of me that "Nick's Cafe" song. I dug it, added Everybody Knows to the playlist. Probably not an album I would go out of my way to put on but I appreciated it. Edged it to a 4 over a 3 but it was close.

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4

Good old Cohen, stubborn and unbending in a new synth entourage.

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4

The first track was a little 80s and synth-y for me... but then as Cohen's deep, gruff voice took over the dark, cynical lyrics really hit me... I really enjoy this. Probably more like a 3.5 but let's give it a 4.

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4

Interesting to see Leonerd Cohen try something very different. I still prefer his folk albums, but this is pretty good.

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4

This is not bad at all, something to relax to, but too wordy for my tastes to give it 5 stars.

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4

Lento pero atrayente

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4

Lovely.

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4

Good Album, enjoyed.

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4

I know your supposed to dump on 80ies Leonard Cohen, but tbh this was the Leonard Cohen I got to know first - Manhattan was a bit of a radio hit if I remember correctly, Everybody Knows was on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack - so it's got a special place in my heart. Yes, it's got lots of synths but it works with these songs. I wouldn't know how else you'd produce them. 8/10

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4

Rock suave de Cohen.

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4

Very good. I’ve never delved into Leonard Cohen before but I think I’ll rectify that error.

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4

on the first song I swore I was listening to some German industrial... and that's before he was talking about taking Berlin. and I didn't think I was going to like this album, then it surprised me. not something I'd put on a lot but I dig it.

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4

Cohen fucks man. The writing on this is solid, followed with a fucking sultry ass voice. It's good, I am vaguely familiar with him but not enough to say I am a fan or anything like that.

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4

smooth, chill music, manhattan is a bop

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4

26th November 2021 Listened on my headphones while working on Friday before meeting ebbs and Charlie for duckpin bowling and jen's fam coming for the weekend. Loved it - cohen's most accessible album. Big, brash, but still with lyrical intricacies.

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4

I’m Your Man represents a return to form for Leonard Cohen. The album has a sultry late night feel but is brighter than his previous work. It’s obvious why Tom Waits thinks so highly of this album. My only qualm is the synthesizer based production which grounds the music in a recognizably 80s sound and takes me out of the timelessness of Cohen’s music. Obviously it’s a brilliant album nonetheless

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4

2x na elkaar Cohen. Dit album vond ik beter dan dat van gisteren. maar zeker niet het maximum waard

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4

Enjoyed the album - had kind of this futuristc 80s vibe.

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4

When I saw this was a Leonard Cohen, I was NOT ready for those sequencers in the first few seconds. What a stylistic shift. But overall it's a solid entry. Cohen's vocals are even more raunchy and mature than before. Lyrics are dark, covering themes such as desperation, loneliness, and mid-life crises. I can really get into the more synth-heavy songs. Got pretty weak in the second half but it still had notable ideas, like the unusual techno-waltz theme. Favorites: Everybody Knows, I'm Your Man, Tower of Song

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4

Some great songs on here, synth sound is a bit dated. Worth another listen

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4

Interesting album. Very wistful and emotional. The synths have aged better than you'd think. Great vocals.

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4

A welcome return to form after a patchy period. It doesn't quite live up to his first four albums in my opinion, but it's great to hear Cohen being this adventurous at this point in his career, and his longevity and relative consistency such a testament to his skill as a songwriter

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4

Some all time great songs on this. But, off, that 80s production. The synths, the saxophone solos, the stacked backing vocals. His singing is not bad, probably amongst the best he has ever sounded. But is it a coincidence that I love many of these songs in cover versions? The production really distracts me. Five stars for the songs, one off for the sound.

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4

Meesterlijk…

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4

Middle-period Cohen: masterful songcraft dressed in the tackiest 80s production. I can see why it took a Jeff Buckley to get Hallelujah the credit it deserves. But you know what, I'm charmed. It adds a (deliberate?) layer of absurd humour to the whole thing. And anyway, there are a handful of 24-carat classics on this album (Everybody Knows, I'm Your Man, Tower of Song etc). Leonard you horny devil, you've done it again.

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4

Solid album!

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4

Band: Let's score this like an upbeat '80s film! Leonard: Here's some lyrics about the AIDS crisis.

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4

This is the polar opposite of the cheesy crooner I'd (very wrongly) imagined Leonard Cohen to be. Dark, brooding, enigmatic music which is often synth-led. Dark, interesting, menacing and sad lyrics, all sung in a distinctive baritone voice. An interesting and emotive album. 4/5

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4

Enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. Was hooked right from the start when Cohen intoned "first we take Manhattan.....then we take Berlin". I really didn't expect this to feature synths at all, let alone have them as prominent as they are.

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4

Eu esperava algo completamente diferente pela capa. O veio é bao, gostei

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4

Solid album, really enjoyed the singer songwriter aspect of the album. However the musical aspect seemed a bit of an odd choice to me and prevents the album being a 5 star for me at least. "First We Take Manhattan" probably my favourite song, but all songs were enjoyable.

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4

Six times Platinum in Norway! I have fond memories of “Manhattan” from the winter of 88. I was in France and it was being played all day long in the cafes and bars. There are some great songs here, like “Everybody Knows” & “Tower of Song”. There are also some borderline-muzak stinkers, but as always, the lyrics save the day. He's still relevant 25 years after his first release. I usually think that back-up vocalists are a great addition, especially if the lead singer is as flat-line as LC, but here they could have been used more discreetly, like on “Songs of Love & Hate”.

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4

I'm not fully sure why we are taking Manhattan or Berlin but I'm pumped to do it! "Everybody Knows" is an all time great track. "Take this Waltz" is a beautiful song. "Jazz Police" however is a terrible track in the midst of beauty. Ironically I first found this album through a video of the worst songs on great albums (shoutout to Alfo Media). The album recovers in the last two songs though. As a big fan of folk I know and love a lot of Cohen's early work. I do forget just how good Cohen's mid career was. Some of the songs are a little long and "Jazz Police" is what it is. I would give it a 4.5/5.

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4

kind of strange 80s sound. Cool. Everybody knows.

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4

A voz abençoada de Cohen! Ótimo álbum! Melhores músicas: I'm your man e Ain't no cure for love.

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4

Randomly had 2 Leonard records in a row! What are the chances of that! This one from the end period of his first career, (Before his manager nicked all his money!) This is a bit like Leonards "Highway 61 Revisited" His (over)use of synths on this was a shock to some. A great album with some classic Cohen Tracks "First We Take Manhattan" "Everybody Knows" "I'm Your Man" and the wry, humourous "Tower Of Song" (I was born with the Gift Of A Golden Voice!) Love this album and some of the classics on it, my second favourite LC album after "Death Of A Ladies Man". Rightfully on this list and in my collection.

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4

mon chien n'a pas aimé du tout

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4

C'est journée chill aujourd'hui.

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4

It was good

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4

I really enjoyed this album. Fantastic lyrics, and I don't understand the criticisms of his voice and delivery which are perfect. I also think the production adds an interesting layer as well.

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4

Don't let the peeled banana fool you, this is a divine collection of songs that do not guarantee spoiling upon neglect. Leonard works surprisingly well with the synth sounds, rather bending it to his will as opposed to the other way around. Is he our man? With this album, he sure is. Favorites: First We Take Manhattan, Ain't No Cure for Love, Everybody Knows, Jazz Police, Tower of Song.

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4

wow, a good album from leonard... I gotta say, im impressed

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4

Very different from his early work. I wasn't expecting this sound at all. I kinda like it more, actually.

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4

I came into this project already a big Leonard Cohen fan, so it was nice to see him being recognized with several albums. This album is right up there with the others. First We Take Manhattan is a great song that many already know, or recognize. It makes a great introduction to an amazing album. Standouts: First We Take Manhattan, The Tower Song, I'm Your Man, Take This Waltz, Everybody Knows 4.5/5

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4

Backing music hasn’t aged well, but brilliance comes through

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4

Smooth, always

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4

Never heard of him, but seeing a dapper guy eating a banana at a warehouse is always a great first impression. Actually really like this. Enjoyed the vocals, the slight 80s cheesiness was endearing (I love stupid songs. "Jazz Police" was great). My favorite song though was probably "First We Take Manhattan" - sounded like a Bond villain speech and I'm always a sucker for that kind of evil sound.

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4

I expect a lot of people don't like 80s synth Cohen but I actually think it gives his music a bit more identity beyond his voice. Some of his best lyrics on this album

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4

Blijft me fascineren die Leonard. Ditmaal een iets vrolijkere kant van hem.

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4

Sequencia certeira das composições.

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4

4.5

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4

Kinda lit...

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4

The casual coolness of an absolute badass posing on his album cover with a half eaten banana perfectly exemplifies what this album is all about: it's a bold new Cohen for a bold new world, it's the juxtaposition of his poetic songwriting with his synth heavy 80's sound. He gives no fucks, takes no shit, and does what he wants. Then he takes Berlin! Everyone went a little synth crazy in the 80's... you were contractually obligated to try it. But you know, we salute a Canadian icon, always. Do your cool different thing with the 80's cheese factor dialled up past 11, it's all good. If you wanted Tom Waits and The The rolled up into a dang tortilla this is a close enough approximation of what you'd get.

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4

Really have to listen to the lyrics. Type of album to impress a date with. His voice is something else.

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4

Fourth Leonard. At this point I just assume all of them are on here. My favorite one by FAR. Like a skeleton singing you love songs.

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4

Didn’t know Leonard Cohen like this existed. Pretty cool. This is how you adapt to a new era of sound while still maintaining what makes you great

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4

Fine record from Leonard Cohen. Probably my favourite of his that I've heard so far.

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4

One of my favourite Cohen albums (but not his best by any measure). I find the more sophisticated production far superior to his earlier kumbaya albums, even if it’s overtly eighties sounding and the world has moved on since (and we’re better for that). Several really good tracks here!

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4

Cool as it gets. Cover art: 3/5

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4

Better than I'd expected

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3

Börjar bra men tappar lite mot andra halvan.

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3

Some date production going on. Great songs and even better lyrics!

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3

Great vocal performance and awesome chord progressions but the musical arrangement often triggers me. Imo, it hasn't really stood the test of time, unlike his folk records.

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3

The production choice is immediately charming when paired with Cohen's vocals, but fails to land in any further sense. If the lyrical themes of the opener showed up more often I may have been convinced, but there's not enough ironic detachment to pull a, say, Alex Cameron (who I'll have to relisten to in Cohen's light now to be time-honest). While the other tracks with backing vocals provide additional highlights, the words and music never quite adhere. In the space between is the cheese, and there needs to be either more of it or none at all.

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3

There's better Leonard Cohen albums out there

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3

en god trea. trevligt att sitta och lyssna på men inget som man kanske kommer komma ihåg.

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3

Cool darkness quality, very Nick Cave

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3

lol holy crap, a stark contrast to "You Want It Darker" but i dug this album. I'm still not a huge Leonard Cohen fan, but this album had some good songs, my favorite of which was "Take This Waltz".

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3

I’m sure the only album I’ve heard from Leonard Cohen was the one released just before (or just after?) he died. This album starts very strong, three fantastic hits right out the gate. He’s a bit like Tom Waits, in that he’s got the signature vocal that everyone remembers (and funny enough, Waits cites this album as a favorite). But there’s much more character to these tracks for me, I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than the Waits album. But still, it wore a little thin after a while. A good album, but wish I could say I liked more on here. Favorite tracks: Everybody Knows, First We Take Manhattan, Ain’t No Cure for Love. Album art: Comically simple. I can’t look back up at this without grinning. What a dumb album cover. The massive text, and the tiny text, and the pic of Cohen lost in a warehouse eating a banana. Is this supposed to be funny? 3.5/5

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3

I can't say I've listened much of Leonard Cohen before, so I was half-expecting this to be some sort of near-spoken word-styled folky/bluesy jazz. However, it turned out to be a rather 80s-sounding affair which I more or less enjoyed, more than I expected, for sure. 3 stars.

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3

3.5. good album but some songs were kind of weird. not bad just kinda weird. feels like a fever dream of an album

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3

Leonard Cohen will always remind me of watchmen. In the movie his cover of Hallelujah was used and during the credits, First We Take Manhattan, which is featured on this album. He has always reminded me of a deeper and slower voiced Bob Dylan. His songs remind me of driving in a neon soaked town at night. They are a little weird and out there but very enjoyable. I mean, look at the guy, it’s like Anthony Bordain meets Dustin Hoffman and he’s eating a banana on the cover! Guys a baller.

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3

Very 80s. Not really my style. It was good. But I didn't really like the style and personally didn't like it that much

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3

This album sound like a year long haunted Halloween! What a great deep voice with lyrics you’re trying to figure out befor he sings them. It was and interesting switch from all the Brits!

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3

7, enjoyable voice

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3

You gotta like Leonard Cohen to be cool. You gotta dig his lyrics to be cool. You gotta wade through garbage bags of synth to be cool. You gotta realize that you sorta actually like the garbage bags of synth to be cool. You gotta let your eyes drift from your laptop to lazily gaze at the Rainier cherry tree outside your window while realizing you didn't understand a word he said to be cool. Being cool is a journey, not a destination, and you gotta let ol' Lenny take the wheel to be cool.

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3

Hated this at first. So dated, synth, backup singers, etc. especially relative to his other work I’ve heard. I started to come around later in the album, when it seemed to stop taking itself seriously, it got all whimsical. Interesting. Having trouble to put it into words. Wasn’t floored, but ultimately I didn’t hate—except for the first two.

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3

Jag gillar im your man men resten är nog 3/5

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3

Saved Prior: None Off Rip: First We Take Manhattan, Everybody Knows, I Can't Forget, Tower of Song Cutting Edge: None Overall Notes: The missing link between Frank Sinatra and Nick Cave. I can see how people absolutely adore this whack poetry crooner, but it was average (for this list) listening. I get what he's doing with the cheesy 80's stuff highlighting the cheesiness of the lyrics, but that doesn't make it more enjoyable.

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3

Tough to rate, amazing songs, awful production. Listen to the same songs on later live albums

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3

хз то ли я уже приобщаюсь, то ли этот реально лучше зашел чем предыдущий альбик Леньки

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3

Не-не-не, без акустики вся магия пропадает. С гитарой - бард, а с синтами - уже Бардиж какой-то. Конечно, не осмелюсь спиздануть, что музло хуёвое. Открывающий трек и заглавная тема покачивают. Take This Waltz неплоха. Заметил, что местами чувствуются мотивы а-ля Hallelujah. Пока гуглил, как пишется это слово, выкупил, что оригинальная Hallelujah как раз авторству Коэна и принадлежит, находится на предыдущем альбоме, лол. Jazz Police душноватая. В общем, неплохой альбом, но возвращаться я к нему, конечно, не буду.

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3

The songs got less interesting as the album went on. Fist we take Manhattan was an awesome opener but I soon lost interest

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3

It was quite calm, I really liked Cohen's almost spoken word sound.

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3

alright but not my style

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3

Too poppy for Cohen. Not bad, but not his best.

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3

pretty good

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3

The synth-pop stuff is definitely not what I expected, but then again it was 1988... Backing vocals are excellent. Not a huge fan of his delivery in some parts but generally the lower he goes the better. Some songs verging on being too simple for me to stay focussed. Enjoying having this on as background music though. Haha Jazz Police is gas. Favourite song so far. Yeah all fairly enjoyable. I think it probably wasn't the best idea to listen to this while working as a lot of the "value" probably comes from dissecting the lyrics. But anyway, glad I listened but wouldn't be a go-to in future.

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3

Better of an opener. Backing vocals are the key throughout. Love Cohens baritone voice and how clear it is in every song. Highlight for me is Take This Waltz

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3

Very of its time. Grew on me after a couple of tracks, but not something I’d listen to again.

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3

Ruhiger, dunkle atmosphäre, klassich 80 jahre rock, hörbar

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3

Interesting album. Thought the first song sounded like a Disney villain track. The other songs were pretty good. Enjoyed but might not listen again 6.0/10

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3

Quite a unique voice.

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3

very odd songs, super cool baretone voice though

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3

Cohen's strenth was always in his songwriting, not his performance and this album is far from his best performance. Even when this was released in '88, the instrumentation and arrangements were outdated and cheesy. About two-thirds of the songs on the album are really well written, even so (as you would expect from a Cohen record). The other third, however, are ... well, they're not Lenny's best work. (I'm looking at you, "Jazz Police") The duds are bad enough to tank this down to a middling grade.

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3

Such a curiosity. What to make of this poetry over synths from the man with the bassiest bass voice in music? I didn’t fall in love at first listen but I think this might be a grower that rewards repeat listening. Three stars for now whilst I work this out.

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3

Cohen has a great voice, but this album suffers from some cheesy synthesizers, and his voice is too upfront in the mix for my taste.

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3

Cultura general

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3

I feel a bit guilty about giving this a 3. It's Leonard Cohen! The man's in that upper pantheon of songwriters and is often mentioned in the same breath as some of my all time favourites (Dylan, Waits, Cave...) The 80s production caught me offguard. This is a timeless voice delivering timeless scriptures as songs, but the production slaps a big neon "Made in the 80s" sticker on it. My first thought was that I'd love to hear these songs with different instrumentation (though the backing vocals were lovely). Still, "Everybody Knows", "First We Take Manhattan" and "Tower of Song" were highlights here- "Ain't No Cure For Love" felt relatively cheap and corny and not what I'd expect to hear on a Cohen album. My overall impression might change with time as I get more familiar, but for now it's sitting in the middle.

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3

I like Cohen, this isn't one of my favorites though. First we take Manhattan is a great one on this album. 3.5

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3

Too much "talking" / avantgarde stuff.

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3

Didnt remember "First we take..." went on for so long They all seem to run kinda long tbf

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3

The synths surprised me although I was already familiar with First We Take Manhattan. Interesting and intimate - as with other Cohen LP's. Good.

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3

Generatorn ÖSER Cohen-album över mig. Jag tackar och tar emot. I'm Your Man är ett av hans mest hyllade album, men når för mig personligen inte upp till Leonard Cohens högsta nivåer. Det åttiotaliga synthiga soundet lirar inte riktigt med Cohens röst och stil, tbh. Även om det finns många hits här. First We Take Manhattan är kraftfull och catchy, men om jag veeeerkligen rannsakar mig själv, så är den nog ändå inte så bra. Känns som albumet är ett mellanting av akustiska 60-tals-Cohen och mörka 2000-tals-Cohen. Det blir också bäst när han går hela vägen; åt något av hållen. Som i den mörkare Everybody Knows, och i den melodiösa, vemodiga Take This Waltz. I'm Your Man (låten) är bra. Ain't No Cure for Love och de tre sista låtarna är förglömliga. Bästa låt: Take This Waltz.

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3

First we take Manhattan was nicely retro futuristic, rest was quite Bob Dylan-y.

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3

Prima, zware kost, jazz police is heel raar

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3

Sounding dated due to the very 80's style. Still enjoyable and amusing in its own right due to ridiculous bass lines and overly depressing lyrics and delivery.

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3

Without knowing what I already know about Cohen - or looking at WikiPedia or something - it's really hard to tell what decade he was recording in or what type of genre this is. That's to his credit. He's unique; timeless. Also, kinda boring.

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3

My grandma liked Leonard Cohen. Described him as "a gypsy singer" and asked me if I could get her a couple CDs. Thought to myself "sure egrandma, I can get you some of this grandma music." Went to New Moon Records in Mt. Pleasant and asked for a couple CDs. The guy behind the counter was super impressed that my grandma liked Leonoard Cohen. Was probably the first time I asked a question about music and got a positive reaction from the Jack Black-esque characters in that store. In hindsight, no wonder they were more interested in requests for Leonard Cohen than the latest Tool/Weezer release. Thanks for making me look cool, Grandma! This record is from the 80s. Sounds cool. The deadpan delivery of singers like Cohen has grown on me in the recent few years. Since seeing Nick Cave live. Sort of an extension of Bob Dylan's approach to barking/speaking important information atop interesting music. This delivers in that regard. But will I listen again? Not likely. At least this record. That's why this is getting a 3 and it seems charitable...

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3

Smooth, but I feel everything is a little overdone. May I mourn the amount of Cohen on this list? Yep, he’s pretty cool, but come on.

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3

Great poetic lyrics, and the melodies are pretty good, but combined with the deep bass, almost spoken delivery, the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Maybe someone else should record his songs instead. Still the occasional gem: First We Take Manhattan being the obvious (which has been successfully recorded by others). Tower of Song could be a great upbeat rock song.

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3

Manchmal ganz hübsche Texte, aber manchmal absolut garnicht. Kein Fan von der Produktion und vom Gesang.

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3

Ok. I'm not a big fan. Still really like Tower of Song

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3

Like this

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3

First song is 5 The rest are 2

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3

Cohen tackles synths. This is a lateral move for the singer/songwriter that works oddly well. Features the hauntingly beautiful "Everybody Knows", which stuck with me more than anything else on the album. I enjoy synth Cohen, but not as much as his old stuff which resonated so much more. The exception is the chaotic and perhaps rushed "Jazz Police". What a song.

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3

It is an interesting sound that Cohen is going for on this album, but it does not appeal to me very much.

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3

It is ok. Nothing noteworthy. Better than the other Leonard Cohen albums that have been on the list so far. I am not sure why there have been 3 Leonard Cohen albums on the list. There are some songs that have the 80s sound, the rest sound like normal Leonard Cohen songs.

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3

None more 80's production of synths, sax and sexy backing vocals over some of Laughing Len's most hardcore songs. Best Songs: First We Take Manhattan; Everybody Knows; Tower of Song

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3

me surpreendi, gostei :D

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3

What an odd little album, perfectly summed up by the album cover. Cool kinda dark but still somehow a little absurd. This is the third Cohen album I've been generated. I didn't like it as well as You Want It Darker, but it is hard to rate this voice and these lyrics any lower than 4 stars. The opening track First we Take Manhattan and Everybody Knows are undeniably great songs.

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3

I'm into Leonard Cohen, this album got the 80s going on. I personally, especially want to take Berlin! Everybody Knows is classic! I hate you Jazz Police.

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3

There's a lot to like with this album. Groovy music really complimented by Cohen's deep voice. It does stray into the cheesy a couple of times though. Jazz Police is a low point for me High points: First We Take Manhatten and Tower of Song

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3

Defrinitiely a bit more going on than Songs Of Love And Hate, the last Cohen album I tried. I still don't think Lenny's ever going to be a favourite of mine, but at least here there's some actual music to accompany the poetry.

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3

Meia bomba, mas a voz dele é maneira

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3

couple good ones

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3

I'm a bit cooler on Leonard Cohen than most, but I still think he has some amazing moments. This album, isn't one of them. The opening track starts out all right albeit with thin, weak production, but the instrumentation could be improved with some remastering. But once the back-up singers take center stage, it goes way downhill. The entry in the book says that some moments on this album are now dated, but that's selling things remarkably short. The sax opening on the second track is a sad little salvo for the 80s. That pretty much sums up the album - awkward, cringey production choices backing up otherwise good songs.

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3

Cohen is always good, but here is not at his best

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3

Odd. But not unpleasant.

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3

Generally decent songs (maybe not "Jazz Police") offered up in a production that generally serves them poorly (especially "Jazz Police").

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3

Ritmo pausado, elegante, tranquilizante. Toda una voz grandiosa

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3

Very interesting switch up, not sure if I like it or not

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3

You know how Bob Dylan does Bob Dylan stuff like record a Christmas album when he's a non-practicing borderline atheistic Jew, records Sinatra cover albums, etc, because he's Bob Dylan? I'm Your Man is like that, only not as good. Cohen's lyrics are good here, but my gawd. The music has to be a joke, otherwise the thought of using a 1987 Compaq Presario to generate the tones was a serious artistic oversight. 3.5/5.

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3

Leonard Cohen discovers a casio.

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3

Es muy raro escuchar a Cohen haciendo algo que suena tan a Pop, pero que de todos modos no pierde su sello. La verdad no me encantó y en especial algunas partes de la instrumentación me sonaron demasiado a organito de bar. Rescata la tercera Estrella por Jazz Police que me gustó más que el resto.

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3

The songs aren’t bad but his voice is. If these songs were written for other people they’d be better.

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3

Pas le meilleur de Cohen. S'écoute bien mais je préfère de loin son style plus folk.

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3

He has a good voice. Not all the songs were my favorite but he’s unique.

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3

Great lyrics, and it draws you in. But not the full package.

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3

Leonard Cohen doing all the 1980s and still managing to sound typically Leonard Cohen.

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3

Fun fact: Leonard Cohen ate 6 packs of sliced ham during every recording session.

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3

Leonard cohen goes bubblegum. Even wennen, maar leuk om eens te horen.

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3

A little too much 80s synth.

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3

Cheeelin

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3

This one's a bit bizarre, right? Leonard Cohen, famed folk artist, puts out a late 80s album featuring his expected story-telling roots on top of some greatly dated 80s production featuring plenty of keyboard synths and female backing singers. On paper this sounds terrible, but in practice it does pull through with its strong songwriting. If you can get used to the dated style of production, there is a lot to enjoy here. Personally, I still feel a bit juxtaposed by its production, and folk music already isn't my usual thing, so I can't say I'm into this that much. Favourites: "First We Take Manhattan", "Everybody Knows", "I'm Your Man"

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3

Felt very 80s and a bit strange for Cohen. Fun though!

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3

I'm not in the cult of Leonard Cohen but I don't dislike him. This album is interesting and weird. I feel like it's from a David Lynch film or something. I feel like I should give it another listen.

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3

Same haunting voice, but the music seems dated and a little 80's. 3 stars

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3

Hoo boy, I am not totally against the concept of electronic Leonard Cohen but I was not expecting it. The 80s cheese is strong with this one. It just feels like an older guy saying "music these days has synths, I need to do this now". Production-wise it's good though. Definitely prefer stripped-down version of Cohen. This is pillow-soft rock.

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3

First We Take Manhattan is such a dark song and album opener, made only more bizarre by the juxtaposition of the bubbly backing vocals (which is a continuing juxtaposition throughout the album); it stuck with me the entire time I was listening to this album. It was easily my favorite song on the album and it set the precedence for me going into the rest of the album. Leonard Cohen's singing style sits almost like sultry spoken word over the musical layers of the songs. I never could quite decide if I liked that or not, but it certainly made for an interesting, engaging listen. Leonard Cohen is like no other in that regard.

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3

3.8 - I was skeptical but I ended up liking this album. Gone is the flamenco-style guitar picking in favor of a more "updated" synth background, reminiscent of a Casio keyboard. It shouldn't work but this aesthetic switch is applied with artful subtlety so it somehow ends up sounding sophisticated. I'm reminded of soundtracks for adult dramas of the 1980s. Cohen's baritone sounds smokier and more seasoned, which adds even more atmosphere and gravitas to his poetic lyricism. I like also that he's kept the female backing vocals to punctuate certain lines throughout. Standouts: "Everybody Knows", "Take This Waltz", "Tower of Song."

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3

Favorite track was "First We Take Manhattan"

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3

Old man passed his best some good tracks. Some real shit Jaz one

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3

Loved the first track but overall it was just fine

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3

Općenito kad njega slušam, dobijem tu neku kombinaciju glasa Nick Cave-a i instrumentalno osjećajno early Waitsa (na ovom albumu najviše). Ne znam, Cohen je sam za sebe, to je meni jasno, ali evo morao sam podjeliti na šta me podsjeća. Ne puštam si njega inače, nije mi nužan, ali poštujem.

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3

-Oh God, I have not enjoyed Leonard Cohen's albums in the past ("Songs from Leonard Cohen" and "Songs From A Room" (both got 2 stars)) Wikipedia says that this has some of his biggest songs, so I'm hoping for the best -Good start. "First We Take Manhattan" has a cool, creepy vibe with the electronic beat going and the low voice singing. Actually reminds me of David Bowie's "Earthling" album, which I really enjoy. The song creates a cool scene in my head -I don't really like how much the backbeat slowed down for "Ain't No Cure For Love" and "Everybody Knows," but the low voice singing is still nice -The low singing is really helping this album. The drop on the word "man" in "I'm Your Man" is cool -Woah, "Jazz Police" has a crazy driving synth riff. That was pretty cool. It kind of does towards the end? -"First We Take Manhattan" and "Jazz Police" were definitely the standout track with their faster, more interesting instrumental. The rest of the instrumentals were slower and more plain. The best part about the other tracks was his low singing which is always fun. Congrats Leonard Cohen, you got your first 3 star album. A weak 3, but a 3 nonetheless. It was generally tolerable, with two nice tracks.

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3

Everything about this album was pretty good, except for his voice, I just can’t get over it

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3

More lively for Cohen, but still cohen

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2

Leonard's writing is great in places but kind of bad in others (e.g. "Jazz Police" is ridiculous but "Tower of Song" gets humble-braggy really fast). The instrumentals and production sound dated in a way only the late 80s truly can. Not for me. Favorite tracks: "Jazz Police", "Everybody Knows"

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2

Awful

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2

Different than I thought it would be.

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2

Blaaaah

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2

weird slow vibes . i dont think ill listen again

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2

@@½. Wonderful voice, weird songs with almost electronic sound.

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2

RIP

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2

This was too synthy for me

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2

"Everybody Knows" says this album wants a 3+ rating. "Jazz Police" says it should be a 2.

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2

Man, you guys were mean to Rufus. Who are drag queens supposed to listen to when they’re sad, huh?? Leonard Cohen? Maybe. But not this one. I can’t handle the instrumentation. “Jazz police”? Oof. “Everybody Knows” is still cool, but give me the early stuff, please.

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2

Ok, Leonard Cohen can write some really good songs, but my goodness are his performances of them bad…. There’s a reason it feels like no one’s heard the original “Hallelujah” and this album is the same way. I could see someone else taking anyone of these songs and making them significantly better. Favorite tracks: “First We Take Manhattan” and “Take This Waltz - Paris Version”

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2

Not for me

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2

I appreciate his lyrics, but not my kind of record.

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2

More 80s sound but he doesn't do a great deal of singing. It's more like speaking into the mic. 3/10.

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2

Cohen is apparently a very talented musician. But it's just not something that I fully understand.

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2

I mean its not terrible but I just cannot be bothered with it. Its silly.

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2

This didn't do a whole lot for me, I like Leonard Cohen but felt his lyricism was neutered here and the production fairly weak and trying to cash in on some sophisti-pop phase in the 90s.

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2

Very gruff and at times dark - reminds me a bit of jeremy irons. Not sure what I think, songwriting is pretty cool but I wouldn't return to this. Saved: First We Take Manhattan

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2

Heavy synth and spoken voice, not fitting well Leonard Cohen. I prefer much more the original classic Leonard Cohen style.

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2

I'm 4 songs in now, and I'm not really enjoying it. Honestly it makes me a little uncomfortable, like he's trying to hit on me and I've told him no 5 times already. I'll listen to the rest but I'm probably gonna give it a 2 cuz I don't like it. I would give it a 1, but the recording is well done.

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2

My familiarity with Cohen only gets a little further than Hallelujah. I was surprised by the first track, with the synthesizer sound that feels very much like the 80s. The first track sounded familiar too, but everthing else was a new listen. "Jazz Police" is the track that is holding this album down just below 3 stars. The rest of the album is okay, including some tracks that are barely in the "okay" range. It was my first listen, but "Jazz Police" feels like I would want to skip the track every time. The backing vocals... yeesh.

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2

Well... I tried... I still don't get the appeal of Leonard Cohen.

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2

I’ve heard great things about Leonard Cohen so I was curious going into this album. Another album I had to shuffle so that maybe made a difference but damn it felt slow. Some of the songs were nice musically but I feel like Leonard Cohen’s singing and lyrics kinda put me off. Couldn’t stop thinking I bet this guy wears a fedora describes things as “groovy” and calls people he likes a “cool cat”. Also it felt weirdly jarring every time he started talking about wanting to see someone naked like you were hearing your grandad say it. I wasn’t having an awful time listening to this but it wasn’t great. That all changed when “Jazz Police” came on. I couldn’t believe my ears, this music it’s… it’s… HYSTERICAL. Dunno if it was meant to be but damn it was a good time. Apparently this “Jazz Police” are “Wild as any freedom loving racist”. Are they racists? Or are they arresting racists? Are they after Cohen because he’s racist or something else? Regardless Cohen says “Jazz police I think I'm falling, I'm falling for you” he’s falling in love with a WHOLE POLICE FORCE?? WHO MIGHT BE RACIST?? The plot thickens when we find out “Jazz police are working for my mother (😱), Blood is thicker margarine than grease” (🤷‍♂️) Whether you think Cohen is guilty or not (of…uh… jazzing?) at this point should not matter as he condemns himself with the following lines “Stick another turtle on the fire, Guys like me are mad for turtle meat” What a sick bastard. 10/10 song. ((Side note: after this album finished his song “Hallelujah” came on which I believe he originally wrote and god damn he ruined his OWN song, I can think of 4 versions of this song better than the original and that’s rare))

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2

I tried to see the beauty in it but the Leonard's baritone voice was an eerie.

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2

Not a huge fan of the dragging intonation in his voice. His voice is rich and smooth which is nice, but that's about the only thing going for this album for me.

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2

Some instrumentation is really unique, but when the singing starts it seems like the songs just drag on and on. His voice is not really interesting and accompaniment is way too bare, especially contrasted with the introductions of each song. Lyrics are just rudimentary.

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2

Tja, prachtige teksten, heel moeilijk luisteren. Ik kom er niet doorheen.

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2

Yeah Leonard, your poetry is great and all, but can you make it more 80's? - Say no more. Opens very synthy, followed by a few less memorable rambly tracks. "Take This Waltz" sounds very Roger Waters-esque and is probably the highlight of the album for me. Can't say I'm convinced by the backup singers. Overall an unoffensive album, decent enough background noise.

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2

This soft rock album from the late 80's is Leonard Cohen's 8th album, and it represents his evolution into "modern sound". The album went on to be his best-selling. Cohen had his singing voice spot-on for this album and he brought in a lot more instruments to modernize the music. This album - like his others - is moody; it can be dark or sad at one point, and funny or upbeat at another. Not my go-to music choice, but I'm glad I got a chance to listen to this album!

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2

Con questo album ho capito una cosa: Leonard Cohen non fa per me. E' innegabile che il suo stile è molto personale, che c'è una certa cura e raffinatezza nei pezzi e nei testi, ma artisticamente l'insieme mi arriva molto narcisista e auto-celebrativo. Il suo modo di cantare mi stanca molto rapidamente e lo trovo parecchio monocorde e qui non aveva scuse. La produzione è molto '80 coi gli slap bass alla Seinfeld. Non m'ha convinto. Direi un 2.5 che non merita il 3.

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2

Didn't think the music worked with his presentation style. Lyrically rich with many opportunities for others to cover.

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2

I'm not really in the mood for Leonard Cohen today, but this lil' project really doesn't discriminate there... or rather, it ALWAYS discriminates haha. I never really feel like whatever is presented, today's no different. Maybe this will be a nice surprise, being 1988 and all. Maybe it sounds like Guns n Roses. Fingers crossed eh? Ok it's not gunners... but I wasn't expecting this. It's like synthy, dark kinda pop? it sounds like the soundtrack to a leisure suit larry game. I can see what he was going for, but it doesn't really work imo. The music is a bit too muzak-ey, a bit too upbeat even in its kinda hushed way, for his vocals. No comment on the lyrics. And Jazz Police.... what in the fuck? hahah. this is just shit. complete, utter shit. I think my biggest gripe though is that Cohen honestly can't sing. He struggles to stay in tune even within the limited kinda baritone range he has. Most of the time it sounds like he's too insecure to even try singing, just opts to kinda half-speak, half-sing instead. Kinda like Mark Knopfler did, but nowhere near as well. Soon as Cohen goes for it the bum notes hit you like a ton of bricks. 2/5.

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2

Not heard before. I do like LC, but this is absolutely drowned in awful plastic 80s production.

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2

I wish I could be a fan of Leonard Cohen, but it just doesn't work for me. This is better than the previous, more folk based Cohen album that I got before, but just not my cup of tea. After about halfway through, I thought I'd give it a 3, but then I listened to the cringey "I'm Your Man". 2.

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2

Hard to believe this is the same artist who put together ‘Songs.’ Arrangements are one-note, instrumentals are cheesy, and the overall product is just disappointing

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2

Grating. Not added.

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2

Not a huge fan of this sound. First time I have listened to Leonard Cohen in earnest. It is interesting but nothing I would choose to listen to again. 2/5

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2

I think, I might actually get it... well a bit more than I used to anyhow. What I'm connecting with on this listening is that Cohen's work is great, for being a phenominal template. Interestingly enough, I was listening to some of the backup vocalists on tracks such as "Ain't No Cure for Love", "Everybody Knows" and "Take This Waltz" when it dawned on me. I still don't care much for Cohen's vocals or his drone delivery, but I can think of plenty of other artists that I would love to hear perform these songs. And that's ok, right? This is the 1001 best _albums_, not 1001 best performers. BTW - What is the world was going on with "Jazz Police"?!

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2

I'm honestly not a fan of Cohen's 80s material. Seems too cheesy to me

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2

I wasn't a fan of the sound or his voice.

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2

boring and slow. Leonard Cohen is a mood.

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2

the 80s were not good for leonard. a couple of simply painful pop overlays. and his voice still has too much clarity. where's the gravel?

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2

I can’t wrap my head around Leonard cohen. I want to like him, but can’t seem to.

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2

I tried reading up on why this man is such a big deal, and it's explained. Kind of. But I don't like how the songs sound and I kind of stopped listening after the third track. This doesn't appeal to me. Sorry.

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2

Music and lyrics are ok, not a fan of the vocals

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2

not very interesting

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2

I think everyone has a gap in their musical knowledge, someone big/famous/influential that they don't really know that well, if at all. I think Mess+Noise might have had a thread on this back in the day. Leonard Cohen is one of those blindspots for me (as is Tom Waits (don't hate me!). I have heard songs by both so could probably identify the performer by their voices without knowing the song or whether it was a big song for them. I think I remember 'First We Take Manhattan' from when we got satellite tv and MTV in the family home in the late 1990s (Recommended read: 'I Want My MTV' by Marks/Tannenbaum, which brought back so many memories of those times). But thing about the song at the time was just how weirdly campy, Euro Pop it sounded. And in the late 80s, I wasn't in a campy, Euro Pop space. The album is the same. It might be lyrically rich and you can't deny the voice but it sounds almost dated by the time it was released in 1988. There's something about it that reminds me of Roger Water's 'Radio Kaos', not sure why. Possibly just how stuck in the 80s it sounds.

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2

Still don't like him very much. This one felt a little more interesting than the other one.

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2

02/11/22

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2

I previously complained that the earlier Cohen material sounded so bloody gloomy. He must have heard me so he tried to update his sound and make it more upbeat. Unfortunately this sounds like what middle-aged suburban housewives would listen to. So campy that I was cringing. Some of my esteemed friends love Leonard Cohen but I, for the life of me cannot understand the appeal.

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2

Leonard’s voice is simultaneously intriguing and awful at the same time, which makes it more intriguing. His deep talking voice is sublime. Unfortunately he tries to sing which is not pleasant. I’m convinced from listening that he is the spoken word source in Michael Jackson’s Thriller. …searches Wikipedia … No! Alas it was Vincent Price not Leonard Cohen.

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2

The atonal vocals were painful. Extra star for that “Fuck-the-Man” jazz police song.

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2

Leonard Cohen is a poet, not a musician. This really needs to be a spoken word album and strip out all that shitty 80's broken synthesizer crap. Love his voice, and 'hate' is not strong enough a word to describe how I fell about the music that's underneath.

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2

Listened to on 2/24/22 2/5 Favorite song: Take this Waltz I found his voice/tone kinda creepy

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2

… c’mon

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2

extremely corny but i still found myself dancing a little!

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2

Dunno. It didn't really do it for me. I just found it a bit odd.

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2

Can’t get past the voice.

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2

Te zwoel en niet mijn ding

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2

Too much creepy cheese.

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2

A deep voice eighties Keyboards with falsetto girls An artist’s artist

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2

Lots of the songs talk about girls objectively :///

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2

Never been a Leonard Cohen fan and this album didn't change that. Although some of these songs were more upbeat than I expected, I just don't care for his vocal style. I really don't get what people see in him. Still, not the worst record I've ever heard.

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2

p586. 1988. 2 stars. This has not aged well - it sounds like every bad drum machine, synth and mid-80s cocktail bar musical cringeworthy cliche you can imagine. In particular the female backing vocalists and whoever did their arrangements need to be taken outside and shot. Twice. Shame, as there are some cracking tunes here, and lyrically he is still light years of the game.

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2

Was ok, didn’t do much for me though.

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i don't seem to get Leonard Cohen. he's supposed to be some sort of songwriting genius but the only one we all know is hallelujah and that's only cos of jeff buckley. on the basis of this album he's a muppet - he came up with the song title Jazz Police and instead of a tune of equal excellence as the title he creates that monstrosity. i mean, Jazz Police has the potential to be one of the best songs ever written. it has such power yet such elegance. its the man, but also a cool daddio and most importantly its close to jizz police which is funny because, well, jizz.

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2

Dit was eigenlijk niet te harden. Ik hou echt wel van Cohen's stem, maar die enorm gedateerde 80's pop-synth saus die eroverheen is gegoten is werkelijk abominabel!

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2

Nooit veel gehad met de man. Dit kon me ook niet echt bekoren.

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2

Doesn’t really work. I like the instrumental of the opener and ”Take This Waltz”, but otherwise it’s mostly different flavors of dated with Cohen reciting his lyrics over it all. It has comical value, though

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2

I prefer the folky Leonard Cohen to this by far. This sounds like a satire of late 80s production values. Almost painful hearing him trying to reinvent himself. I don't think it's the songs themselves that are bad necessarily, it's the arrangements (and how they were recorded). I take that back, "Jazz Police" is just plain bad all around. Is it intentionally ironically bad? "Guys like me are mad for turtle meat?" WTF? It's like something from Tim and Eric's Awesome Show... If I want to listen to some deep voiced 60s/70s icon reinventing themselves in the 80s, I'd much rather listen to Scott Walker's "Climate of Hunter."

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2

Quite odd. Was not really expecting.

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Enjoyed forst we take manhatten. After that it went downhill faster than loic bruni. Genuine casio keyboard demo music.

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2

The 80’s really did ruin everything uh? Wtf is going on with those choruses and keyboards?

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I LOL'd. Then I tried to give myself a chance to "get" it and never did. When Jazz Police came on, I LOL'd again. The backing tracks are certainly stylized but they are interesting in the way Ween's tracks are interesting. I don't find the lyrics particularly poetic or deep, however. I must be missing something but I won't be back to find it.

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2

Hey Len. I've got good news and better news. Let's go with the good first. The record company love your new songs. And the better? They feel inside the Laughing Len persona (so passe) there's a modern MTV star just waiting to be unleashed. They do. They do so much they've put it in your new contract. You do want a new record contract don't you? I guess so. Excellent. So sign here for gated drums. Here for over-assertive backing singers. Here for casio tone synths. Here for fretless bass. And here - very exciting this - for what they're calling 'Paul Hardcastle style' for Jazz Police. What's that I hear? It's the sound of MTV Heavy Rotation Baby. You know the wierdest part of the whole thing? Cohen produced the album himself. Listen to Jazz Police and wonder if the whole thing isn't a satire on the 80s music industry. Four stars for the songs, 0 for the production.

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This album creeped me out and I don’t really love all of the sing-talking. Some cool lyrics though.

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I don't think I liked this album but I also didn't dislike it? Vocally it was very flat, with not much variation between songs. There were some interesting lyrics but I don't think I'll ever listen to any of these songs again. 2 stars

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2

Cohen has a very interesting voice but I felt the lyrics/music on this album didn't match, which were often ridiculous.

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The songwriting here is next level. It's clear that he's a poet. It is also clear that you have to either love or overlook his voice to really love the album--each with its own ceiling. I did my best to ignore the Shatner-esque nature of his voice and spoken lyrics. In the end, I just wished that a bunch of different bands covered these songs to elevate them.

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2

The synths are so out of place here it is really strange

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Voice was super low, first 2 songs sounded like they were ripped off later by Lion King and the Police. Overall not my cup of tea, but it did have interesting sounds which is why I gave it 2 stars

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1

That was a fever dream. Jazz police? Seriously?

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1

Paso

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1

Leonard Cohen

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1

Zzzzz...

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1

I’m sure the lyrics are profound but I can’t get into the dirge. *

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20years of boredom!! Your songs Certainly show it!! Crap crap big pile of stemming shite........2 songs is all I could listen 2 🤮

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Starting off strong with the late 80's sound. You know keys and drums machines. I know you know. I have to say that I'm not really into this album (the backing vocals/choir are slightly annoying) and Leonard Cohen, but maybe someday I will find some of his music that I like, maybe not.

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Hawt Trash

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Boring old man slow so singing

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This was completely different from what I expected. Some of the songs on here are the most 80s things I've ever heard. It has not aged well. I knew Everybody Knows but only because there's a cover of it that I really like. I think it's a very well written song but the original version makes it seem like a terrible song. I don't really have anything positive to say to be honest. A bit batshit in the worst possible way.

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No

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weird cunt

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Okay I guess this is from later in his career, but he sounds like he's old (first album on Spotify is '67). Maybe enjoyed it more as I got further into it? OMG I'm dying laughing at the beginning of Jazz Police. Ok maybe all of Jazz Police. What in the hell is this song.

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Rape Music

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L'ascolto di questo album l'ho trovato abbastanza faticoso. In primis il sound '80 che come ormai sapete, eccetto alcuni casi, a me non piace. I testi non mi hanno trasmesso molto (forse perché qui non era in fin di vita), anzi li ho trovati anche abbastanza banali. La voce monotona si è accollata. Ho trovato interessante il fatto che su "I'm your man" il pezzo finisca con un fade out mentre ancora canta, come se sapesse che l'ascoltatore, ormai stanco di sentire la sua voce, voglia abbassare il volume . Oggi mi sento cattivo! 1

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1

i cannot listen to this

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Surprisingly dull vocal

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Not a fan of Leonard Cohen.

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Mediocre music. With added dreary voice. And then it's all just the dreary voice

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Did Steve Branson have a mid-life crisis and cut a sad 80s country blues album? This is terrible! - 1 star

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mid, there was a song I think in the middle that lit the mood up a bit but that's it

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Ugh no. Terrible

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I'm having a hard time taking some of these seriously. This felt like a parody album. I have no idea who would listen to this for enjoyment but that's not me. And I can't even describe the shock when I realized this was the Leonard Cohen of Hallelujah. With synth. Singing about sex.

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I didn't enjoy this one at all.

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The last chance department at JCP. Appliance shopping at Sears. A graphic T display at Dillards. ‘If you want a lover I’ll do anything you ask me to. And if you want another kind of love I’ll wear a mask for you. If you want a partner, take my hand, or if you want to strike me down in anger here I stand. I’m your man.’ I believe this lyric sums up pretty much everything I don’t like about Leonard Cohen. I find his whole approach toward women and sex to be juvenile, and his unhealthy obsession with the end times and divine judgment tiresome. Unless this is all satire, and I’m missing the whole point. Any of which I might be willing to work past if the music was good. But the tunes on this LP mostly sound like department store muzak crossed with bad 80s new wave dance music. All that and a drab album cover, too. I don’t mind ugly art when its serving a higher purpose, conveying some deeper, heretofore illusive truth. I do mind dumb art, though. Look, I know that Cohen is the darling of the critics, as much as I’m aware of the devotion of his peculiar fans. I’ve just never quite figured out why, nor does this LP make me want to. ‘And I can’t forget,’ Cohen sings on the second to last song of this interminable recording, ‘but I don’t remember what.’ I can, Leonard. And I do.

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This album feels like the musical equivalent of walking into a modern art exhibition and being told that a wadded up gum wrapper is the hottest new art piece. I don’t get it, which makes me angry because I feel like I have been conned. How is this the same man that wrote Hallelujah?! This album is a con job, it has to be. I was sold a bill of goods when I saw the name pop up and what I got was a saxophone laden eighties dumpster fire in which Cohen doesn’t sing so much as recite bad spoken word poetry.

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This is bad music. This guy is a revered singer-songwriter!? How do I go back to only knowing about "Hallelujah?" There were a couple of mildly tolerable songs in the middle, but the rest was so objectionable that it should be stricken from musical existence, not celebrated as one of the 1001 albums you must listen to. Maybe you don't know brilliance unless you see/hear its opposite?

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I refuse to listen to any more Leonard Cohen. I hate his music.

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Didn't enjoy. Maybe later albums better.

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Awful. Cohen's worst album? ((Probably not, and I'm a fan!)

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This was a slog. I did not like this 1 bit. I’m sure the lyrics are good if you pay close attention but the music sucked. At least with Dylan you get some nice acoustic guitar sounds for the most part. I’m truly baffled at how this could be a comeback album. Who heard this and thought “wow this is what I missed!”? I’ll pass.

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This asshole is the reason the common man thinks they can go on some TV show and become famous. How the hell does this lack of talent make a list? I wish that banana choked the fucking life out of you Leonard!!!

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Really doesn't do much for me. 80s electronica and comical backing singers.

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Kinda sucks. I should hope this is not the album that people fell in love with. 1

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The kind of music you'd here walking to an empty dive bar in suburban Australia. One man up front with a karaoke backing track and an old Casio keyboard playing for a room of drunks and exhausted workers. I honestly thought it was a joke at first.

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Sigh, another Leonard Cohen spoken word album. This time with shitty synth loops. I swear I remember most of these beats from the drum presets on my 80's Casio toy keyboard. I'm your Man was #7. Wanted to give this a 2 for having the ambition to attempt a song in 3/4, but then Jazz Police came on, and it was a wrap. They sentenced LC to 20 years of boredom, and he tried to do the same to us.

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Je m’explique bien mal pourquoi cet homme est un intouchable. Je comprends que certains textes sont très bien ficelés et je suis d’accord qu’il a tout un tone. Par contre la prod de cet album est tellement cheap... On est dans le midi vite fait. Ça sonne comme un démo. De plus, on dirait qu’il n’a pas décidé de la rythmique de son vocal avant d’enregistrer. C’est super aproximatif.

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1

Horrible crap

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Not for me. A weird album with way too much 80’s synth.

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