INT. Abandoned Cathedral, 5:30 A.M. A thin ray of light shines on an organist wearing black robes with a Grey stole. He appears to have been awake all night. It is apparent he is playing what appear to be the final chords in a grand symphony. I love this very much.
Le fait que cet album soit posthume m'a mis extrêmement mal à l'aise pendant toute la durée de l'écoute. J'avais en effet la certitude que Léonard Cohen allait décéder d'un moment à l'autre. Ceci explique la frayeur que j'ai pu ressentir au long du dernier morceau lors duquel la voix de Leonard Cohen est absente des deux premières minutes. "Il est mort... Il est très probablement mort..." pensai-je tout bas. Soudain, alors que j'avais perdu tout espoir, la voix du chanteur s'éleva pour grommeler ses idioties habituelles: "I wish there was nianiania". Quel soulagement...
Okay, honestly? This was absolutely gorgeous. One of the 5 star surprises of this whole listening process. I expected to be turned off, since Leonard Cohen's voice is an acquired taste in my opinion, but this was melodically so beautiful. Like, it was an EXPERIENCE.
“You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen (2016) If you want to hear music written, sung, and recorded by an 82-year-old Canadian Jew sitting in his living (dying) room crippled by fractures in his spine and counting the few painful moments he has left, then this album is for you. And if you don’t want to hear music like that, then shame on you and this album is for you anyway. The expression “You want it darker” is typically what a lover might say to his beloved at the outset of their lovemaking—his accommodation to her sensitivity as he presents himself to her in the darker-ness and says with his mind and body, “Here I am”. For Cohen, this image serves as a prayer to God. Cohen is dying, and God wants it darker. It’s a touching reversal of the God/man Lover/beloved metaphor, and the poet/prophet pulls it of with beauty and horror. This is going to hurt. Death is like lovemaking, and Cohen is ready. “Hineni” (Hebrew for “Here I am”), he says, in resignation to the supreme Will, and with the courage of the prophet (Isaiah 6:8), he faces, embraces the agony. If there’s to be a lullaby, it’s a “lullaby for suffering”. It doesn’t get any darker than that. Cohen wishes there was a “Treaty” between God’s love and his own (There is one [Jeremiah 31:31-14], but I’m not sure Cohen signed it—there are hopeful hints in “Seemed a Better Way”, as he advises himself, “I better lift this glass of blood”, but “not today”). At least he takes it seriously. “My ‘don’t’ was saying ‘do’”, he complains of the temptation contest, but he is quitting the game (“Leaving the Table”) anyhow. And through it all, God’s love has made it real (“If I Didn’t Have Your Love“). Cohen is setting out on the road to death, but he’s “Traveling Light”. His parting advice on his way out the door (to his heart, but more importantly, to you, in case you’re not getting it), is that you should “Steer Your Way” one year/month/day/thought at a time. The outro of the closing track reprises “Treaty” with compelling mystery: “We were broken then but now we're borderline”. So where will you (we? me?) be tomorrow? His voice has been reduced, through age and pain, to whispers punctuated by well pitched basso profondo. But he retains his famous timbre, which compellingly invites the listener to consider, to ponder, to figure it out. It beckons, and you’d better not decline. It’s not just excellent poetry—it’s poetry that grabs you and shakes you a bit. It goes beyond—all the way to the declarative prophetic focus on the past and present in the face of an unknown future. Prophets were generally and unjustly disregarded. Here is your opportunity to rectify. There are negative things to say about this album. But not by me. Leonard Cohen died three weeks after its release. 5/5
Beautiful. What an incredible voice. You Want it Darker is such a tune, love that bass line. Treaty and Reprise/ Treaty are heartbreakingly beautiful. What an album to leave the world with
Are you depressed because of a global pandemic? Don't worry! Leonard Cohen latest album will help you jump off a cliff!
Blues/lyrical with instrumental/tango. Cynical retrospective love/sex lyrics with heavy biblical themes at beg and end of album. Growl-y bass. Sounds like Hades in Hadestown. Listened to while working out, which, surprisingly, worked.
Rarely do I even give much thought to lyrics in an album, but this one earns its 5 on the lyrics alone. The beautiful sparse instrumentation and haunting voice Leonard brings are just icing on the cake.
This very much could've just gotten me interested in Leonard Cohen. I've never listened to him before, but hearing Hallelujah in many soundtracks was annoying. I really loved title track You Want It Darker, Travelling Light and Steer Your Way.
I put on this album weeks after struggling to connect with Leonard Cohen’s third album, "Songs of Love and Hate." I expected a similar experience here. "You Want It Darker" grabbed me from the first notes of the choir with its incredible bass line, the lyrics and vocal performance. The song takes us into a holy space as it unfolds as a prayer. A prayer that critically interrogates the very roots of the religious traditions it references. "Treaty" is heartbreaking. Haunting lyrics, incredible arrangements and an emotional delivery perfectly capturing my disillusionment with Christianity and religion. ‘I do not care who takes this bloody hill. I’m angry and I’m tired all the time. I wish there was a treaty, I wish there was a treaty, between your love and mine.’ "On the Level” explores the emotions of letting go. 'They ought to give my heart a medal for lettin' go of you.' The piano… beautiful. The back up singers… angelic. Cohen… perfect. 'I'm old and I've had to settle on a different point of view. I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win, A man like me don't like to see temptation caving in.' Cohen has put words to feelings I've begun to have in a way that I could never hope to do. "Leaving the Table" digs deep into a break up: drifting apart ('I don't know the people in your picture frame'), regret/resentment ('If I ever loved you it's a cryin' shame'), resignation ('You don't need to surrender, I'm not taking aim'). Deep within the darkness "If I Didn't Have Your Love" unfolds into a startlingly beautiful love song. This album may be dark but like the rest of the album it is far from cynical. These songs flow with the undercurrents of a mature, deep love. "Traveling Light" pairs incredible mandolins and strings along with the electric piano while the lyrics tell of shedding parts of our lives as we approach its end. Cohen's exploration of religion in "It Seemed the Better Way” hit me in a deeply personal way. After spending a lifetime losing my religion this album has made me reflect on my religious journey more deeply than ever before. ‘Sounded like the truth, but it’s not the truth today. I better hold my tongue. I better take my place. Lift this glass of blood. Try to say the grace.' In "Steer Your Way" Cohen captures other aspects of my own journey as I steer away from so many of my beliefs, foundations, and trust in the world. He offers no replacement but hearing this song gives me strange comfort. 'Steer your heart past the truth that you believed in yesterday, such as fundamental goodness and the wisdom of the way.' Damn. "String Reprise/Treaty" is largely an instrumental string piece with Cohen reprising “Treaty” at the very end. After the last note faded I sat in silence for several minutes grieving Leonard Cohen's passing from this world just a few weeks after this album’s release... and rejoicing that Cohen left this incredible gift. Where last month I struggled to relate to a young Leonard Cohen, I felt an instant deep connection to him here at the end of his life. This album lead me into some very dark personal places - but Cohen's warmth and humanity never left me feeling alone. So rarely have I encountered an artifact of a life that had such a seismic effect on me. Leonard Cohen was right… I do want it darker.
Interesting, but I can't see actually listening to it repeatedly
Leonard Cohen is always fake and gay
absolutely incredible album, really enjoyable listen and definitely lives up to it's title. Treaty is a particular highlight
He saves his best fo last, great album. Montreal's greatest export!!
What a voice, what great lyrics. The last strings track was beautiful
That was spectacular, I bloody loved it. I only really knew Leonard Cohen's 'hits' but this album was amazing. And released just 3 months before he died.
Végig lenyűgözött, szövegek elképesztők, hangulat kell hozzá, de nyári estéhez bármikor.
La primera vez que escuché a Leonard Cohen fue en el soundtrack de Watchmen. De inmediato me atrapó la voz, una voz muy profunda y grave, como la de Barry White, pero en el lado triste del espectro. ¿Qué puedo decir sobre el disco? Es una chingonería, quizá con excepción de alguna canción por ahí que está medio meh. Es importante mencionar que el disco me agradó no sólo por la voz, la voz es un complemento de la música y la melodía, y en la mayoría de las canciones la combinación de ambas proyecta un sentimiento melancólico, pero a la vez poderoso, casi como una súplica.
This album warranted you kit-out your headphones to maximum bass, for his vocals alone. Very much enjoyed to slow sultry tones of a man on the way out
One of the greatest poet/lyricists of all time.
One of his best. It's amazing that an artist can be this strong at the end of his career. Album gives me chills.
Said some interesting things, and didn't overstay its welcome. Liked it enough that I want to relisten to it and think it over more
good! Great songwriting and really intense themes. it’s an interesting listening experience bc everything is so overt and lyric focused without being too in your face or being at the expense of the music. 4.5 very good and I’ll probably listen again but nothing really floored me
Dark but great
Ja, dit album kan ik niet luisteren zonder het in de context te zetten. Wat een prachtparel over het leven en de naderende dood
Wonderbar. Treaty / treaty reprise standouts.
Quality album written by a dude who knew he was dying. Sad and awesome at the same time.
Another one for Nic
An incredible listen. Really bowled over by it from start to finish. Fully felt the weight of a man facing the end. Superb.
Incredible - deeply moving.
Отличный альбом, думаю стоит вернуться полностью слушая лирику. Traveling Light / You Want It Darker зацепили с первого прослушивания.
Yes. The first time I heard this album, it hit me hard. Instantly my favourite Cohen album. Exhaustion at the end of life is not something I feel, but the basic feeling of just being exhausted by everything, that I get. This has some of Cohen’s best lyrics. “I struggled with some demons; they were middle-class and tame.” 27/10 album. Favourite track: “Steer Your Way”
This is Leonard Cohen at his gravelliest. The sense of pathos in every song bears the weight of a long, full life.
Only one of us was real.
THIS IS THE LEONARD COHEN I WAS LOOKING FOR! Incredible. This guy is f***in' cool!
five stars all day long
A beautiful swan song from one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time. R.I.P.
This absolutely blew me away. What took me so long?!
It's interesting hearing this compared to Songs of Leonard Cohen. His voice is like whiskey over gravel here in the best of ways. The production is so much more elaborate and fantastic too. Love the lyrical themes of struggling with religion and aging.
- first Cohen I've heard and blown away - strong cohesive direction but doesn't overstay it's theme - variety but also very powerful.
The first time I listened to Leonard Cohen, better than two decades ago, was a transformative day for me and I can still remember the incense smell of the room the first time I put needle to wax and the sepia tones of the Seattle front yard that I sat in when I played it a second time immediately afterwards. This is not that album and I only mention it as I may never get to write about that record and as a primer to say I may not be able to be objective about Leonard Cohen and these tracks. He is unassailable to me. His late in life gravel voice is simultaneously profoundly comforting while inducing heartache. He opens me up and strips away all my armor. I am never more open to my feelings then in the moments following a close LC listen. The three albums that he put out over the seven years leading up to You Want It Darker laid the groundwork for this release. Cohen was a man who had lived an incredibly full life, who was ready to die, but still had so much to say and give to his fans. This album was released just a few week's before Cohen died and this record was his beautiful parting gift. He was a poet that remained in top form all the way to the end.
Deep and meaningful
better than I was expecting, I had a rough time with the first few songs sorry, I love Leonard Cohens older stuff but his voice felt really jarring on this album, with some songs it worked really well but with others it was just too awkward although the more I listened through the album, the more I warmed up to the vocals what I really loved about it was the composition of these tracks beautiful, beautiful instrumentation I think Traveling Light really stood out to me, that was really cool production Also that String Reprise was really nice Overall a really great album, while I had trouble with the vocals I think the rest of the album sells it for me - 9/10
That voice. THAT VOICE. Fave track - The title track is absolutely badass. "Traveling Light" takes second place...
Holy hell. The power in this album, just in the first song, is haunting.
Is this a good Leonard Cohen entry point? I bet it is
Wow. This was truly an experience. I'm glad I already rolled a couple of Cohen's earliest albums before I got this one. I hadn't found either particularly remarkable, but having heard them made "You Want It Darker" all the sweeter. Cohen had grown better with time, apparently; his music was now more varied, yet more cohesive; his lyrics were finally engaging; even his voice grizzled into a seductive register that perfectly matched the tone. And the end result: this album—his final album—the story of a weary, bitter man, who is finally confronting the mistakes that have haunted him all his life. He doesn't demand your sympathy; he doesn't even want it. But you give it to him, because you're still human, after all; and then it's over, and he's gone, and somehow you feel both entirely empty and overwhelmingly full. I'm going to need some more time to mentally process this one. But that's okay. It's going to stick with me the rest of my life, and I'm perfectly happy for it to do so.
Se calhar escrevo isto de uma forma emotiva, mas este álbum é qualquer coisa. Possui uma aura triste a sua volta que prende e atrai. A simplicidade e o tom da voz de Cohen enquadra se perfeitamente ao tom sombrio do álbum com um arranjo instrumental mais solene que se junta tão bem a sua voz. Não sei o que se passa, mas terei de dar um 9, fiquei muito intrigado e agradado com este álbum. Nota 9/10
Underbart, mörkt och fullständigt fantastiskt. Ett av mina absoluta favoritalbum just, och kanske även sen.
On sillä Leonardilla aika möreä ääni. Tunnelmallisia biisejä ja lämpimiä tunteita. Treaty(t) jäi tästä parhaiten mieleen. Sen verran vahva like, että pakko antaa vitonen!
Sublime. I've been to church. I am stunned and grateful.
I was not familiar with this album, but after Songs of Love and Hate, I have been intrigued with LC. This album did not disappoint. I didn’t expect the spoken lyrics, but I though that the tone with the accompanying music was beautiful. What a treasure.
The title of this album is perfect. I had said in my notes on “Songs of Love and Hate” that I was really interested in listening to more early Leonard Cohen, since the album I had been most familiar with was from the 80s. Why didn’t I pay attention when he made music in the 21st century? I didn’t even really aware of this later work. It was rather amazing to jump almost 50 years in his career. His voice still mesmerizes me. His words are still somewhat inscrutable but always intriguing. The composition, instrumentation, and backing vocals are amazing and beautiful in this. I think it’s interesting that the composer of the title track’s music is the co-writer of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” It has more in common than I would have thought. I love the organ and backing choir. The religious feel is intense. It’s a feel that carries through the rest of the album. “Treaty” carries so much pain and regret it’s hard to listen to. And then “Leaving the Table” comes on with even more...although there seems to be some relief in letting go. But that’s still pretty heavy. Come to think of it, “Traveling Light” also has a similar story. “If I Didn’t Have Your Love” at least suggests an intense love, but focuses on a pretty dang dark “what if?”. We then get in to some interesting religious pain and regret territory with “It Seemed the Better Way” and “Steer Your Way.” Mind you, I love these songs so much that you may find me in a dark room listening to them again and again, and it may be a good idea to get me outside in the sunshine.
Incredible that in the same year as Bowie's Blackstar another legendary artist released an album days before his death, apparently in the knowledge that it would be his last, and delivered it with such poise. Both the darker and the more soulful numbers therefore come with added gravitas, (helped by Cohen's badass old man voice ofc), and his gift for dispensing great wisdom in pithy phrases is evident throughout. 'As he died to make men holy, let us die to make things cheap'. Yep. 4.5
A striking meditation on god, love, and death. Leonard Cohen has always had tension throughout his work, but this album sees the tension unresolved and left to us, the listener. His voice and the subtle instrumentation command attention and leave the listener with a profound sense of loss.
Holy smokes, that voice was out of nowhere. Having only been familiar with his 'Hallelujah' I was not expecting that entrance. He just strolled right in and without effort commanded attention. Entire album reads like a letter or a prayer; struggles with aging and religion; an older man haunted by his past, now staring into the void of what's next. Very sombre, melancholic, personal and thoughtful. The lyrics are absolutely littered Judeo-Christian themes and religious references, which continues into the musical structure itself with inescapable hints of gospel, choral, chanting and traditional 'Jewish' sounding melodies. I couldn't help notice the similarities with David Bowies 'Blackstar'. Both albums wholly referencing mortality; both albums released the same year, the year of their deaths. This doesn't diminish either album, they're both unique masterpieces in my opinion, just a curiosity.
Beautiful final album from a beautiful poet.
I've listened to this album several times before. Not much voice left in him, but what a voice. Great feel for the music.
Oh that was superb. First listen just floored me. An easy 5/5.
Masterpiece. This is the perfect album to test out a brand new pair of speakers.
Excellent, loved the gravelly voice, You Want it Darker was my favorite song
Only Leonard (and Bob) could make an album so current without referencing modern events in the slightest. Draws upon archetypes and metaphor to perfectly critique the human condition and the role of society. Cohen's last album and maybe his best.
A lot better than I was expecting
Loved this one. I was supposed to be working while I had this on but his voice kept making me stop and actually *listen* to the songs. The Wikipedia article was an interesting read too -- I ended up going to the Wikipedia page about Leonard Cohen as well and learned that my album for today has a link to my album from yesterday: a song on Nirvana's "In Utero" album references Leonard Cohen. 10/10 to the music, 3/10 to my own productivity.
Gonna get 5 stars. Leonard Cohen is brilliant
I don't claim to be intimately familiar with his discography, but this seems like a master work. His poetry is so unique, and his voice is so dark and rich, the mood meets the words so well. A powerful listen.
Hauntingly Beautiful. I love the choirsong. 5
This album will forever and always reminds me of Budapest. I adore this record.
An album that stops you in your tracks, the penultimate album from Leonard Cohen is the sound of an artist bidding farewell but driven to continue making music and art and is a privilege to listen to. The wisdom, the insight, the emotion all strike you to the core. Not a note is wasted. The music is perfectly pitched to support the breathy, quiet vocal. A heroic effort and one for the ages. (An alternative take from my daughter: ‘Kind of sounds like Lego Batman’)
I wouldn't call myself a Cohen fan by any stretch of the imagination, being more familiar with his songs as performed by other artists. I bought this album on the strength of the use of the title track as the theme for the Black Earth Rising TV series, but in the end the whole album captivated me. In places Cohen sounds old and frail, but that only adds rather than detracts. It reflects on his past life and offers advice to those he leaves behind. It's an outstanding album to sign off with, his Blackstar.
The title track is on one of my favorite playlists I made and to which I listen with some frequency. What incredible texture and flow. And the rest of the album is a work of poetic beauty and intrigue. I love it.
What a beautiful and heartbreaking album. Released just a few weeks before he passed. Ugh. He still had it til the end.
p943. 2016. 5 stars Gravel voiced old man ruminates on death and produces final work of power and beauty. Lyrically, still light years ahead of the competition, and this time we've got decent tunes and quality production to match the words. Not a weak track on it. I am guessing this will resonate more with an older audience.
Leonard Cohen is perfect. This album might be his best.
7/10 FT: You want it darker
Late classic Cohen.
Great album, such a stark, haunting yet beautiful tone throughout. 'Leaving the Table' is the highlight, but it's definitely worth a full listen.
This man can craft some devastating songs. Does his voice sound smooth or pristine here? No, but that's not the point.
I found it quite good actually. I like Leonard Cohen, it's slow but I like it.
Really interesting and dramatic. What a deep voice.
Simple yet meaningful, poetry
Actually really enjoyed it. Really high quality production and some very interesting musical ideas
Que discazazazazo, solo recuerdo a otra eminencia recitando poesía mientras hay música (In My Life cover de Sir Sean Connery). Leonard siempre tan sombrío y explorando esos sentimientos que muy pocos se atreven. Aparte entra en una side list de los discos que se grabaron poco antes de la muerte del artista (ya pasó con Bowie y espero esté Cash)
how his voice so deep yo
Not my style at all but so beautiful I'll revisit it for sure!
Beautiful album, a fitting final album released before his death. 4 stars.
Ok, i was late on this one, but i thoroughly enjoyed it! I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but oh man did i make a mistake on not listening to this sooner! the lyrics were poignant and sung with such a rawness and feel to them that they can almost cut you and make you feel simultaneously. the music is brilliant, i mean, they aren't deep, like, say, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, but still great in their own right.
Siempre he sentido que había dos Leonard Cohens, los dos son poetas consumados, uno es romántico, sensible, profundo y nostálgico; el otro es pesimista, muy muy oscuro, espiritual, cansado y reflexivo. El segundo es mi favorito y este es uno de los dos discos que mejor siento lo representan. Hablan mucho de cómo Dylan es un poeta y en mi opinión aunque es muy brillante para escribir sobre situaciones de su vida y para armar canciones la musicalidad propia de las palabras, la verdadera poesía del sentir un significado ulterior de una frase que lleva a algo más profundo la manejaba muchísimo mejor Cohen. Un disco inteligente sin sentirse presumido, con corazón y con un sentir de verse cercano al fin. Minimalista y con un gran peso emocional. La música cumpliendo su función como siempre en sus canciones no es la parte central pero tampoco deja nada a deber, calmado acompasado y con coros crea el ambiente correcto en cada canción. The Future me sigue gustando más pero éste es un disco con grandes ejemplos que recuerdan que la música puede tener un verdadero valor literario y, si me apuran... ese Nobel estuvo dado incorrectamente incluso.
Wer sonst hat das Bedürfnis, nackt zu sein?
Tres bon. Different des anciens mais il y aune touche special 4.25*
Es emotivo porque es poesía muy bien musicalizada. Leonardo es un personaje oscuro y aunque el disco es muy bueno, no es su mejor presentación. Destaca traveling light
The title track is great. Cohen is an interesting guy because you can really tell he's a poet/writer first. The rest of the album is still good although it stands out less than You Want It Darker.
His voice freaks me out from time to time but overall interesting to hear a Leonard Cohen album with modern production standards and strong backing vocals. Some of the songs kinda reminded me of The Division Bell purely because of how the backup singers sounded but pretty good overall.
One of best posthumous albums ever!
Okay it was rainy and cloudy and I went for a walk listening to this and the vibes were impeccable. Fantastic as an album, but not a whole bunch of situations I'd really enjoy listening to it? 4.5 stars
Lekker donker - zoals het prachtige eerste nummer al meteen duidelijk maakt. Mooi en sfeervol. Ik zou voor 3 sterren gegaan zijn, maar nadat we het net samen nog een keer luisterden kwam Nieke tot de conclusie dat haar 3 sterren er eigenlijk 4 hadden moeten zijn. Dus die extra ster krijgt Leonard dan bij deze van mij.
Geweldig plaatje. Ken niet zo veel van Cohen, maar viel niets tegen.
i can see why people like it, but i cant imagine listening to it often
Leonard Cohen isn’t necessarily a good singer although like the really deep half-talking on most of this album. It sounds like an entire album created by Hades from Hadestown which is kind of cool. I don’t think I could put most of these songs on playlists but the album is definitely still good. Also Cohen is a fantastic songwriter and the arrangement is always tasteful. Leaving the Table stands out to me as a good song that might be better with more normal vocals but there are also songs like You Want It Darker and It Seemed The Better Way that are certainly elevated by Cohen’s haunting vocals. Favorite songs: Treaty, On the Level, Leaving the Table, It Seemed the Better Way Light 8/10
I like it!!!!! :)
First time listening to this. I love Leonard Cohen. Such a gorgeous album. That man knew how to write a song.
Such a great voice from Cohen. Some songs were great, some od them probably won't stuck in my head.
Wonderful stuff - wasn’t expecting what I got - will be back to this for sure
Wonderful stuff - originally wasn’t expecting what I got - will be back to this for sure
A dark journey though a man's struggles to accept that he's at the end. Haunting.
Wirklich gutes Spätwerk. Ich hätte nicht gedacht, dass ich da mal sage aber i want it brighter
Wirklich tolles Album.
Don’t listen when on a downer!
Good album. Speaky.
Cohen at his most earthy and percussive. Not my favorite Cohen era, but there's still lots to love here!
Very cool, modern. Love the deep richness to his voice
Nice existential late-night chill
Praticamente a quest'album ho dedicato più di qualche ascolto. Musicalmente sembrava abbastanza lontano da ciò che mi colpisce solitamente di un album, ma alcuni testi mi hanno lasciato una sensazione strana ma bella, ed ho sentito la necessità di ascoltarlo ulteriormente coi testi sotto mano. Mi piace quello che scrive e come lo fa anche in maniera semplice. Calcolando che quest'album è uscito prima che morisse, lo rende come una sorta di testamento recitato con la sua voce roca e profonda. Sono partito con un 3 al primo ascolto, ma con il secondo penso di averlo interiorizzato (anche troppo) tanto che mi sono emozionato.
Leonard Cohen finally clicked for me on this album - I always acknowledged he was a great artist before, but he never did it for me. This album, released shortly before his death, is dripping with all of the emotions that you expect from a man at that stage of his life; grief, loss, awareness, regret, exhaustion, love... Here's a man who's on borrowed time, being able to reflect on his life from the outside in, and the result is kind of special. It reminds me of Bowie's Blackstar in that respect - an opus to outlive himself, by design.
One of our best
Good this. I do want it darker. I want SHACK being left in charge of a pack of boy scouts levels of darker. Let's see if you can match that for darkness Leonard.
Didn't expect this. It was really good. I do want it darker, Leonard. You should have done this years ago. Dead now though, eh. You silly bollocks.
I didn't finish this one admittedly but holy hell is his voice the lowest of gravelly tones as possible. Here for it. And here for the religious content—at first seemed almost satanic? Felt like the devil was whispering in my ear. Made me want to watch True Detective all day.
It's a collection of poems that lure you into the darkest stages of human nature, passing through it's beauty as well. A fine work of art saved for certain moments, like a fine wine.
Fabulous. Cohen has the lyricism of Dylan and the musicality of Waits and is way more than the sum of those two parts. He is a national treasure and for all the credit he already gets, it doesn’t seem enough. All of his albums are amazing and this one is near the top.
This entire album sounds like Frank Zappa trying to do a Fat Albert Impression. And it’s pretty good. Nothing else to say here 4 stars
Like Bowie's Blackstar earlier in the year, Cohen's swansong was released just days before his death. He stares into the void and growls his goodbyes over sparse instrumentation; when it comes to the forefront, it warbles, just like the man singing from a therapy chair in his living room. Cohen said what he had to say and bowed out, and his unflinching contemplation of mortality is left for us to consider. Best track: You Want it Darker
Am album I feel like I could sit down with, and contemplate everything. Cohen's lyrics are simple, sometimes to the point of either brilliance or inanity. Love the feeling of the record, somewhere between hymnal and drunk older man singing at a dead bar. Favorite tracks: "You Want It Darker", "Leaving the Table", "Traveling Light"
some good poems here
En 81-årig Leonard Cohen sjunger sitt avsked. 17 dagar efter att albumet släppts dog han. Och vilket avsked! Det är mörkt, stämningsfullt, och otäckt. Cohens mörka basröst ackompanjerar den minimalistiska produktionen perfekt. Och som alltid när det gäller Cohen (top-3 bästa låtskrivare någonsin) är texterna och poesin i fokus. Lyssna till exempel på hur han använder rim för att skapa rytm i titelspåret You Want It Darker. Titelspåret, som inleder albumet, är fantastiskt. Andra höjdpunkter är den sorgsna kärlekslåten Treaty (inklusive sista spåret String Reprise/Treary), samt Traveling Light, med ett klassiskt Cohen-tema om ensamhet och bohemliv. Faktumet att Cohen dog kort efter releasen gör texten i Leaving the Table ännu mer mörk: "I don't need a reason For what I became I've got these excuses They're tired and lame I don't need a pardon, no, no, no, no, no There's no one left to blame I'm leaving the table I'm out of the game" Bästa låt: You Want It Darker.
very Leonard Cohen
The You Want It Darker song is probably the best one from this, but there are some other good ones
7,5/10 Muito bom
The old rogue does it again. I've long suspected that Cohen left the heavy lifting of creating decent, listenable music to others, adding gloss by way of his basso profundo doggerel. But he is the most charming of frauds on this album, and he possessed a voice that, pitched between old man Tom Waits and old man Kris Kristofferson, is quite irresistible
I had only heard a couple of Leonard Cohen songs before this and this was my first album. What an album it is. The songwriting mixed with Cohen's haunting, deep voice makes for a really good, ominous-sounding album. Gives me total True Detective vibes. Fav songs: You Want It Darker, Leaving the Table, String Reprise/Treaty
It's really hard not to love a Cohen album and this one reminds me a lot of Bowie and Blackstar. When you're staring death in the face, what kind of art might you be able to make? Well, this answers that question.
Good Album, but you'd not want to be in poor form listening to it.
Mörkt som jävulen! Gillade den första låten bäst
Jag har sedan Twin Peak nådde mig på 90-talet varit ett illa dolt David Lynch fan. Har älskat att försvinna mig in i Lynch mörka, mystiska men också lekfulla världar där det bisarra och mörka får ta precis så mycket plats som helst. Precis den känslan av att kliva in i en helt annan värld får jag av denna fantastiska skiva. Titelspåret I want it darker är som tagen ur en Lynch-rulle. Cohen var 82 år när skivan släpptes och texterna känns som Cohens sista uppgivna försök att acceptera sig själv, sina livsval och kommande öde. Och precis som Lynch lyckas han leverera allt detta med inte bara svärta utan också finess ”I was fighting with temptation but I didn’t want to win”. Så, det här är vad du ska göra nu. Gör dig själv en ”damn fine cup of coffee”, släck ner och slå dig ner i en fåtölj. Stäng av allt vad digitalt heter och så lyssnar du på skivan, då, och enbart då lovar jag dig att du också får ta del av den här världen jag så varmt pratar om
I've dabbled in Cohen here and there but had not heard any of this album. Fantastic. I listened twice and will likely again.
Hieno levy! Cohenin tuotannosta tuttua oli oikeastaan vaan Hallelujah-hitti mutta tämä yllätti oikein positiivisesti. Todella vähäeleisen tyylikästä tunnelmointia. Hieman Nick Caven tyyppistä mutta rauhallisempaa ja vähemmän angstista. Varsinkin jouset toivat upean dramaattista tunnelmaa kappaleisiin. Erityismaininta levyn lopettaneelle kauniille instrumentaalikappaleelle (vaikka joitakin sanoja kappaleen loppuun löytyykin).
Would be a 5 if there was a bit more singing, but really good either way.
Like the title suggests this a dark plodding album that is still quite fulfilling ecause of Cohen's incredible lyrical sense and dramatic delivery. The music matches the lyrical themes perfectly. I found something to enjoy in most every song. 4 🌟
Let's keep it on the level When I walked away from you I turned my back on the devil Turned my back on the angel, too They oughta give my heart a medal For letting go of you. When I turned my back on the devil Turned my back on the angel, too At first I thought you would need to be in the mood to listen to this. But this album just stopped me in my tracks no matter what I was doing. There's something about Cohen that just grabs me and makes me listen. The coolest dude ever. The lyrics and that amazing growling voice hit so hard. The melodies are heartbreaking. Instrumentation is surprisingly varied for each song, but it's never too much. Just enough to complement and amplify the song and the words. What a way to go, Mr Cohen. Stand outs: You want it darker, On the level, Leaving the table, Traveling light, Treaty (both versions)
Really Good, the sound of this thing is incredible, like Midnight Mass in an ancient church
Leonard's Swan Song. According to folklore, swans sing most beautifully before they die, and hence this phrase came to be used to describe someone who was leaving in style. Wonderful album. 4/5.
Oh Leonard, the Darker the better! Cheers brother, I'm sure you are up there still singing. Thanks for all you gave us.
So so gruff! Really beautiful poetry, though the low voice is stepping on the toes of Tom Waits / Hades from Hadestown. Enjoyable swan song from the lyrical ledge. I'll revisit it at some point
This has to be one of the most spine chilling albums I've ever heard....Leonard's voice is pretty haunting anyway and add to that the fact he is on deaths door and writing quite openly about it. Really interesting album and a nice collection of songs
I guess for comparison you could listen to Bowie's Black Star, in terms of albums that were conceived and recorded while the artists were dying, but I think Bob Dylan’s Time Out of Mind would be a better comparison since they’re both around 80, i.e. well past their best-before dates. I would say by comparison, Cohen is still on his game. While he sounds tired (half-dead actually) his spoken words are less cryptic, more powerful and relevant, especially in songs like It Seemed the Better Way and You Want it Darker (even though he sounds a bit like he's channeling William Shatner in that one). The songs are sad and the lyrics pull you in. I like the way the violin creeps into the last three tracks and the final is instrumental until the very end. A lovely finish.
1001 already sent us Bowie's Blackstar album recorded in the last year that he was looking at the blades rather than the roots, and now we get Leonard's similar offering. I never thought that so many artists spent there last year recording a final album. I know John Lennon also did this but it's not quite the same case. This album is reminiscent of his early albums in that the arrangements and production are very simple. Gotta love the line in Traveling Light: "I use to play a mean guitar" That's right up there with "I was born with the gift of a golden voice" I was surprised to see Alison Krauss doing background vocals on "Steer Your Way". I'm not sure what the story is behind her and Leonard becoming acquainted but he has always managed to find excellent background vocalists.
The experience of this, the nearly-final Leonard Cohen project, suggests that my weakness for old-man-death-albums is fixed. This is absolutely going on my list to listen again, though the second track drags an already slow album and the penultimate song's fade is early and redundant. Not much thematic variety, but it doesn't need that: Cohen's inflections and the subtle changes in instrumentation are enough.
Väldigt bra, kraftfullt skrivet och gillar produktionen väldigt mycket.
Pretty hard to seperate from his death shortly following the album’s release, obviously by design. His low voice is really captivating here. I wish it went harder on the strings
Mörk röst swag
היה ממש כיף ושקט ואני צריך לישמוע אותו עוד פעם ליפני השינה
Massive fan of his earlier stuff, still love this album and reckon it will grow on me further in due time. Couple of songs that show he never lost his writing ability even right up to the end <3
4. Classic lyricist/poet with a great time-worn voice.
A dying battery. A vegetable garden at the end of autumn. A human heart. What are the odds that immediately upon casting my vote of 1 star for Leonard Cohen’s 1988 release, 'I’m Your Man,' the very next assignment I received was another Leonard Cohen LP! The music review gods are fucking with me. That is, if you believe in said gods. One would gather that Leonard Cohen would advise against such indulgences for the greater sake of discovering the truth, no matter how sorrowful. But I don’t believe Cohen is the atheist people want him to be. In fact, I don’t think he’s an unbeliever at all. I think he’s a wounded believer. An unbeliever has no logical reason to address God, as Cohen does from the get-go (and has throughout his career) with a brashness so endemic to his peculiar tradition- Here I am, Lord. I can take as much as u can dish out. And in spite of lyrics like ‘I’m so sorry for that ghost I made you be. Only one of us was real, and that was me (‘Treaty’),’ the more accurate lyric from the same song seems to be, ‘I’m angry and I’m tired all the time. I wish there was a treaty… between your love and mine.’ Again, on the following track (‘On the Level’), ‘I heard the snake was baffled by his sin, he shed his scales to find the snake within. But born again is born without a skin, the poison enters into everything!’ Cohen’s on the other side of the remaining western (wailing) wall in Jerusalem, lamenting both God’s seeming abandonment of him, but more so his own of God, his loss of faith. Or, perhaps, the consequential loss that choosing to not believe any longer brings. And how the music is a perfect reflection of that, too, as if it’s aged along with Cohen’s human body, and retained only the parts necessary for essential functioning- a piano here, a guitar there. Gorgeous stringed instruments with a bit of a middle eastern/Mediterranean flare, in minor keys, of course. A banjo never even got close to this LP, thankfully. And be advised to have a box of Kleenex on hand for the closing lullaby. Leonard, from my own troubled faith, also not easily reconcilable with human existence, I believe I have not heard the cry of the needy on your prior recordings, and I confess to a missed opportunity to practice the understanding my discipleship requires. This is a deeply, profoundly moving work of art- and creativity beyond- that you have shared and I’m both humbled by and grateful for its passion. I still think 'I’m Your Man' is dreadful, but I doubt you care, nor should you. This one- 'You Want It Darker'- paradoxically, is the one that truly illuminates your gift. Leonard Cohen presumably died, integrity intact, rather than with/in the false, illusionary hope (and comfort) of his own faith tradition. Is that always the right course of action? The Rolling Stones, following Altamont, seemed to intentionally shed a little light into the prior darkness they had been nurturing, choosing against integrity for the greater sake of, quite literally, saving lives. Loving life, even. The next several years and LPs released remain their very finest period as well as some of the finest rock n’ roll records ever recorded. Who’s to say?
It is de facto a concept about God... Such an amazing last album. (7/10) FT: You Want It Darker, Leaving the Table, Traveling Light
This album is wonderfully melancholy. I'm not sure anyone else could pull this kinda thing off without it sounding like a pretentious beatnik poetry wannabe. But, somehow, Cohen's simple melodies and talk/sing vibe is just cool. I can't explain it - which is good.
Haunting. Appropriately dark for these tragic and uncertain times.
Much more listenable than I feared it might be! What a turn of phrase that man had.
As I have said before Leonard is one of my musical heroes. I love his poetry and his sardonic, wry lyrics. His use of top notch musicians to back him is also a credit. This is obviously a sad sad album being his last studio album before he died (There is a posthumous album completed by his son Adam "Thanks For The Dance") Love "You Want It Darker" "Treaty" (I wish there was a treaty between your love and mine!) "Leaving The Table" (Shadows of Roy Orbison on the guitar here) "Traveling Light" These are all songs of love, life and coming death, beautiful in their simplicity and more powerful when you realise that the man was suffering in great pain from his ailments and the vocals were recorded at his home whilst his collaborators were working in studios elsewhere. (lockdown before lockdown eh!) Farewell Leonard my musical friend for the last 40 years! Rightfully on the list I believe.
Wow, the title of this album was truly apt- bleak, mournful, reflective. A perfect epitaph to a musical legend
Very solid album, I like it. Songs start to blend together, but the melodies are unquestionably brilliant.
This is such a beautiful album. I really can't imagine a more fitting final work for an artist with the depth of Leonard Cohen. Musically, it's spare and stripped down with songwriting that is contemplative, intimate, and dark. Not an album I could listen to every day, but really excellent. Fave Songs: Leaving the Table, Steer Your Way, Treaty, You Want It Darker, Traveling Light, String Reprise/Treaty
Great, I thought. Another Leonard Cohen album. How do 3 of these make a 1001 list? But, my goal was to challenge myself to listen to music I was not exposing myself to... Reading the wiki notes about this being close to the 'finale' life-wise for Cohen made me curious. The pathos of the lyrics and voice here added a quality that made me enjoy the album as a farewell note.... Would have been slightly better as a night time listen.
Envie de crever un peu Prefs: You Want It Darker, Treaty, Leaving the Table, If I Didn't Have Your Love, Traveling Light Moins pref: It Seemed the Better Way
Really enjoyed this, need to come back to Leonard!
what's not to like, still can't believe I missed a chance to see him live
Wow, darker it is. This is the sound of a man close to the end of his life, and he knows it. Clearly, he was in a lot of pain, but there is joy and quiet celebration here to. The production is understated and sympathetic (not universal amongst Cohen's albums). I hear a lot of metaphors about war and conflict in here, but often with a quiet resolutions through diplomacy, treaties, spycraft and quiet agency. It is impossible to separate this from the circumstances of its recording and release, 17 days before his death, putting it in with Warren Zevon's final album, and Bowie's Black Star in a small group of albums that face the imminent mortality.
It was good! Love his voice.
I’ve never given Leonard Cohen much thought, so I guess it’s ironic I would get his last album, his “death” album as my first taste. At first it felt pretentious, but maybe that’s just Cohen. Half way through I felt I knew him and could identify. I like the global feel of the music, the darkness and starkness of the vocals and sound. I could listen to this a lot more.
I never really listened to Mr. Cohen much before. I wasn't particularly enthralled with what I had heard. However, I rather enjoyed this for the most part. There's a Tom Waits-ish quality, but much less "out there" than what Waits might do. It's also incredibly moving given the context of the album. The only downsides were that sometimes some of the songs were a bit too slow moving and mundane and well, it's just a downer of an album. It's not something to throw on anytime and enjoy. I'd give it a 3.5. Bumping to 4 of course.
This was way better than I expected. I had briefly listened to his older material which didn't click with me. Here, it's most likely from age and his deeper vocals that his delivery and way with storytelling has changed to something more weary and reflective than before. The album is of course contrasted with his recent death after release, making it as equally prophetic as Bowie's last record. Overall, it was a warming listen.
This man can write. His gravel voice delivery works for most of his material
Good album... probably requires listening in a different time and space to the one I currently reside though.
12/8 Certainly dark, a coming to grips with certain demise album. Lot of religious themes, which I guess you get into at that stage of one's life. Standout Tracks: You Want It Darker, If I Didn't Have Your Love, Traveling Light, It Seemed the Better Way, String Reprise / Treaty
I think I've listened to enough growling old dudes but this was fine. There was one track on it that I really enjoyed
It’s like a story book opera. Leonard Cohen is one of a kind
Too slow and too much talking for me
My least favorite LC album, though his voice still sounds buttery.
Nada mal, mesmo sendo quase todo falado. Dá a impressão de palavras finais, com tom mais macabro e só um pouco ébrio.
Bit over the top but I really liked Travelling Light.
Me gustó lo tremendamente melancólico que es en algunos puntos, aunque creo que ese es el sello de Cohen. Sorpresa que un álbum relativamente tan nuevo esté aquí, hace obvio que al menos habrá uno o dos más de él.
Good ol' "new" Cohen. Quite alright but nothing spectacular.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. It could have been the alcohol.
This one was okay. I don’t really prefer albums where the person is sort of speaking the song, so I guess I didn’t like it as much as the other album by him that I’ve listened to with this project.
Think of Johnny cash but down one octave. A little slow for me, but good album.
It's darker alright. I like it decent enough. 6-7/10
Well, new Leonard Cohen certainly isn't my fave and this less little impression on me. Some nice bits and as ever, the poet over the song writer.
3 - Musik, die man allein beim Rauchen hört.
almost a 4
Good but like you get ir by the third track
Cohen is good when you first encounter him but like Nick Cave, I've kind of grown tired of his schtick.
Enjoyed this much more than I thought I would. It was really crazy listening to very early Leonard Cohen after listening to this album.
Another Leonard Cohen. Again, nice to listen to. 3/5
Pretty cool 80 year old. It was a good listen, but not one I’m likely to go back to, save the first track. “As he died to make men holy, let us die to make things cheap” was an interesting lyric
‘You want it darker’ is natuurlijk een fantastisch nummer. Verder had ik op iets meer zang en iets minder gepraat gehoopt.
He’s got a very deep voice hasn’t he.
Nooit echt mijn ding geweest. Moest ooit Suzanne zingen bij zangles. Wat een hel! Wel een mooie Peaky Blinders sfeer, dus toch drie sterren
Good for a listen, lots of raw emotion, but not something I'd listen to on the regular.
Fande das sterbe Album von Jonny Cash besser.
A little somber, great deep voice tho! More references than I expected to gambling...?
It finishes strongly but ultimately the title track sets expectations that aren’t met. Nonetheless it’s a beautiful and heartbreaking piece of work.
Dark, bluesy on places, great feel voice. Good.
An album that lives up to its name! There is a time and place for this album and I'll give it this - he's good at picking interesting lyrics. I kept finding myself guessing what he was going to say and kept being wrong. The lyrics can be... obtuse. Dude speaks in metaphors constantly. I loved the addition of backup singers and collabs. If the whole album was this guy, I think it would be a two. It's a solid three though and deserves to be heard.
This man's voice! Good lord, it does things to me. Didn't have my favourite leonard cohen song which is 'i'm your man' but still a really good album, love the dark/existential themes
Like pouring a fine aged brandy into a small, new glass.
The song I already knew was the best one. A pleasant listen but nothing much stood out that I didn't already know. I find elements of the arrangement and production distracting.
It finishes strongly but ultimately the title track sets expectations that aren’t met. Nonetheless it’s a beautiful and heartbreaking piece of work.
Feels a bit unfair to review this as I could have paid more attention to it but in the right mood it would probably gain more stars. Recognised ‘Treaty’ from the recent Your Honor tv series and caught various lyrical gems that other writers would murder for. Pretty dark.
It starts great and it ends perfectly, it's a shame that the middle of the album is one long drone of boredom.
This was enjoyable, highlight track was traveling light for me, its not the best driving to work on Friday morning music but can see myself listening too again.
It was alright. The instrumentation was pretty good paired with Cohen's voice, but I just didn't vibe that hard. Highlights: 1, and 4.
He comes off as using other songs to jump start his, then doing a tom waits voice over impression. The arrangements and assembly are top notch however. Does he do anything not sleepy on the edge of creepy?
Once I got over the initial weirdness factor, I actually didn’t hate it!
good background music.
Bien mais un peu déçue. Après avoir tant entendu parlé de l'artiste je m'attendais à quelque chose de grandiose. L'album est très très calme et assez monotone.
I can appreciate Leonard Cohen as a lyricist, but as a singer/musician, not so much. Reading his words, I am a fan. Listening to him perform them, I am not. I just can't get into the talking over the background sounds, which always seem slightly religious. The mood is like being in a dimly lit cathedral where some creepy cult is going to jump out of the shadows. I think this was among his last albums, and perhaps he was trying to excise some demons because he knew his time was limited. I know I should probably like Leonard Cohen, but I don't.
Track 1- No Thanks. Track 2- I now remember how much I dislike Leonard Cohen as a performer. Track 3- This isn’t really for me. Track 4- Would be a really good song he actually sang it. Track 5- I would really love this song if someone else were singing it. Beautiful Lyrics but sounds like its being sung by Lurch from the Addams Family. I get that’s supposed to be his appeal, but it’s not working for me. Track 6- See notes for Track 5. Track 7- “Seeing a better way” to my heart if this were covered by someone. Track 8- A solid song. Love the fiddles. It’s got a good beat. I can dance to it. Would love to hear this without the vocals and just scrolling lyrics across the screen. Track 9- I do like the concept of the reprise. Bookends everything. The album is engineered beautifully- and you can hear every nuance of his voice (which for me is unfortunate.) Overall, I respect this man for everything he’s created. He wrote some amazing songs. The Jeff Buckley cover of ‘Hallelujah’ is one of the most amazing songs ever. Also I have a special place in my heart for Canadians. If I were a troubadour looking for songs to cover there’s a treasure trove here. I simply don’t like his vocal styling. Thanks for including me! I promise I’m not a contrarian!
Comme vous le savez, j'ai une bonne dizaine d'albums a rattrapper suite a une semaine de vacances bien méritées sur la côte Atlantique. J'ai donc des preoccupations bien plus importantes que d'analyser l'album du cadavre de Leonard Cohen
Cohen's farewell album. It's his later work so there's more electronic bubbling than acoustic folk. All that's left to say is thanks Leonard; you made us all want it darker throughout your career. Best Tracks: You Want It Darker; On The Level; Traveling Light
Salmer med bedre tekster og lyd. Men stadigvæk lidt kedelig til tider.
Good songs. I wish I liked listening to L.C.
Dark indeed. Quite cool if viewed as poetry set to music. I might listen again on my death bed with a whiskey in hand. Did hold my attention until the end though, even on a second listen.
I didn't expect to see this on this list at all. Only ever listened to Cohens best ofs/greatest hits. He died not long after this record was released and that hits home in the lyrics
Like a William Shatner album, but classier. Seriously, though, I was a little befuddled by this one. But still enjoyed it somewhat. Fave track was the title track.
This is the guy that does the true detective intro songs! Not something I would listen to a lot but a cool sound
Perhaps never the artist to listen to if you're feeling a little down. Leonard's remarkable voice is always worth it though. Could listen to him read the phonebook.
From the first track Cohen's vocals were like wrapping yourself in a warm fluffy blanket of "zero fucks given". Would pair well with whisky and a nice cigar
Like the title suggests this a dark plodding album that is still quite fulfilling ecause of Cohen's incredible lyrical sense and dramatic delivery. The music matches the lyrical themes perfectly. I found something to enjoy in most every song. Thouvh in the end s little monotonous t ate higher than 3.5🌟
Leonard Cohen's a legend. This album isn't my usual cup of tea, but I'm glad to have experienced it.
Dat zijn stem zijn uithangbord is, staat als een paal boven water. Muzikaal vind ik dat album net iets minder. Aangenaam om te luisteren, maar geen hoogvlieger
3/5 beautiful to hear, but not enough to buy it.
David Bowie, great in his own right, released his last album in life "Blackstar", and passed away mere days later. As if he also knew his time was up, great Canadian folk artist Leonard Cohen followed suit in the same year. You Want It Darker, Cohen's last album in his life time, came out October 21, 2016. 17 days later, he died. There's not much left of Cohen's voice on You Want It Darker. What he has, though, he leans into. The titular song and opening track is, in fact, dark. Cohen sings about death in a very religious way. Similar to Balckstar, it's as if Cohen knows his time is up. Unlike Blackstar, Cohen prefers to keep things simple with his last album. This subdued sound is nice, but can lose steam after a few songs on account of sounding samey. Cohen is really dwelling in this sombre, grizzled mood the whole time, so you'll really need to be in the mood for that.
Second Leonard Cohen album to show up. His older gravelly voice gets a bit much for this long but I enjoyed it still.
I know he's a popular guy but this was a little too monotonous for me.
I appreciate the music, but I don’t really enjoy Leonard Cohen.
Po prostu Cohen, nastrojowy niski głos. Spokojny, wyważony całkiem ciekawy.
RIP Stripped back Lenny ❤️
Loved the voice loved the mood 3.5/5
That deep rasp tho 😍. Really really enjoyed it!
Definitely grows on you
Not my style of my Music, wouldnt listen again, but it is its good music
Get this man a throat lozenge and a cup of lemon tea! Jokes aside, this is a beautifully intimate album. The backing band is a tight and dynamic collection of instruments, that is varied from track to track but cut down to just the essential pieces within any given track. Leonard's vocals whisper, growl, rumble and occasionally claw their way up into the lower musical register. The lyrics are quintessentially Cohen; poetic, built on a frame of relatable narrative and decorated to the hilt with evocative imagery and metaphors. I entered into the album thinking I wasn't in the mood for it. Turns out I was wrong.
Not used to this genre, but grew to like it towards the middle. A nice sombre album
Eh, cool, but not really into Liam Nieson-esc vocals.. 6/10
Preferred this over Songs Of Leonard Cohen. Not exactly uplifting though
This album compares and contrasts well with Black Star in different, morbid ways. I feel like they are both sort of reaching the same conclusion, but approaching it a bit differently as they age and mortality creeps closer. I feel like "You Want It Darker" and "Treaty" are the stand-out tracks. You Want It Darker is a better-than-average but feels like an intro that doesn't stand on its own as a track. Treaty I do like a lot. It reminds me of something Tom Waits would do, which is great in my book. From here after Treaty, it falls a bit short of what I'd want. Maybe I'm just not old enough, but it's just ok for me. The spoken-word delivery gets older and older the longer the album goes for me. I don't dislike it, but I want a lot more out of it.
I’ve been listening to some Cohen recently so it was fun to see this pop up. As usual, lyrics are introspective and pseudo religious, with some straightforward but not too simple backings.
I really didn't understand the appeal of Leonard Cohen until i listened to some of his earlier records, which I thought were quite good. Later in his career, he had a bit of an revival and attracted new fans and treated his old fans with new material. This music i have less interest in, unless you're old and/or female, it's not for me. Listenable, but I prefer his back catalog.
love the man but his voice is just too close to ASMR here and it's actually hard to listen for me
Dark and brooding, nice
I know people think the "sad old man" routine is deep, but it bores me. I don't even think I liked Johnny Cash's version of it, and I genuinely like Cash. Cohen is just like an older generation's Nick Cave - style over substance, impresses hipsters. There were moments of vague coolness but mostly this was a chore. I was bored by the second song. 2/5.
Dark, gravely voice. Melodic album, you’d really have to be in the mode for this one, not a listen on loop thing.
M'agrada molt Leonard Cohen, hi ha àlbums seus que em porten a la infància i a la adolescència, i la seva poesia em sol emocionar profundament. Podria enumerar desenes de cançons seves que col·locaria en una hipotètica llista de les meves preferides. Però amb aquest àlbum (que desconeixia tret de la cançó titular) no hi he connectat. Me'l guardaré per fer una escolta atenta en el futur, però la primera impressió ha estat més aviat tíbia.
Somehow manages to be both interesting and boring
I wasn’t surprised to see that the dude died shortly after this was released. It had some interesting composition pieces, but his voice is mostly speaking and the mood a bit melancholy instead of how I think of Jonny Cash toward the end of his life.
Not really my cup of tea but I respect it.
Enjoyed the music to this but couldn't get on with the vocals for a whole album. Was ok though, surprise surprise another 2*.
What a Lovely deep gravelly voice.
You Want It Darker is not an unqualified triumph, but I still enjoyed it, mostly because of Leonard Cohen's take on mortality, (not) coming to terms with God, life and impending death. I'm sure I missed a few, but here's one memorable line: "As He died to make men holy Let us die to make things cheap" A short laugh out loud, followed by an internal groan. Sadly, the music actually diminished the impact of Cohen's poetry. It's old-fashioned in all the worst ways. It's overbearing when it should be spare, sentimental where it should be cold and bleak. Imagine the impact if Leonard Cohen had hired someone like Boards of Canada to do the music. Leonard Cohen was never much of a guitarist, but his accompaniment for Songs Of Leonard Cohen was a good fit for his poetry. If you want the full impact Leonard Cohen is capable of, watch McCabe and Mrs. Miller, a fable about our wonderful and plucky free enterprise system, which has the songs of Leonard Cohen as its soundtrack. By the end of the movie, you may want to kill yourself, but then again, Leonard Cohen was always tuned in to the more melancholy currents of life. On Accuradio, I used to hear a version of Democracy, a relatively modern Leonard Cohen tune, that I've never been able to find. That version was ghostly and gorgeous, deepening the themes of Cohen's poetry. The released version was a horrible patriotic march, intended as irony, I'm sure. You Want It Darker isn't as bad as that, but I regard it as a missed opportunity.
Great lyrics and some great tunes but gets tiresome quickly.
Questo album è quello che mi ha messo più in crisi forse in assoluto. Leonard Cohen era nella mia lista di gente che aspettavo alla resa dei conti. Questo disco però è un macello da giudicare, è stato scritto e registrato con lui che manco se reggeva in piedi. Da una parte è evidente che la voce ti al secondo pezzo già diventa irritante (ma appunto poraccio c'ha delle attenuanti), dall'altra comunque è il disco di una persona matura che probabilmente sa pure che non gli rimane molto da vivere e quindi ti aspetteresti qualcosa di incredibilmente profondo. E infatti suona come un disco profondo, però secondo me ci suona e basta e la cosa mi irrita pure. A me sto disco sembra pretenzioso, magari un giorno rivaluterò questo voto quando avrò più esperienza per giudicare ma per ora me dispiace tanto Leonard RIP è 2.
This sounds like something I'd hear on a radio in a movie directed by Guillermo del Toro. I'll listen to it if it's in the background of something else I'm concentrating on, but as an album it's not very interesting. Favorite track: Leaving the Table
Spock was better
Not expecting back to give back to back 2 star reviews for Leonard Cohen. Too dark for me. In the words of Tom Hanks “I want something peppy, something snappy”…
It was alright. Nothing really noteworthy. I had didn't hate it. A lot of just speaking the lyrics.
This one left me cold. Had the same Cohen vibe I like a lot, but nothing here made me want to listen again.
Oude man vertelt verhaaltjes. Als je er van houdt kan het leuk zijn, maar het is niet zo mijn ding. Verder ook niet irritant of zo. **
Gets too much attention simply because Leonard Cohen died shortly after this was released. That doesn't automatically mean this is good! Maybe Cohen and Tom Waits can get together at the after party and determine who had the more annoying, gravelly voice (it's no surprise that my favorite song is the instrumental closer). The only thing I want darker is my coffee. And my men.
Voice halfway between Thriller/Hot Summer Night narration and typical singing. Dark/religious theme lyrics. Quieter music, style gets old by the end of the album. Select listening/Halloween would be good!
I've heard of Leonard Cohen, but never listened to any of his music. From the first note I wasn't sure what to expect, but when that deep, booming yet soulful voice came at me I was taken aback. Overall it was a very dark and somber album that was ok but wouldn't go out of my way to listen to. Best: You Want It Darker Worst: Steer Your Way
I couldn't really get through this one.
I think I like his older stuff better. This album was a bit too spoken word for me.
Artistic and poetic, but I really can’t listen to album after album of depressed muttering
It not my music
I have heard some Cohen on a soundtrack once. It was ok. The album has some nice ambiance in some songs but his singing style is kinda repetitive as its more like talking.
Mama always told me that if you can’t say anything nice…. And seeing that this album was completed only 17 days before his death, I’ll bite my tongue. Suffice to say I’m still not a Leonard Cohen fan.
I want it meistens gar nicht. Nicht euer Ernst, oder? Texte gut, Musik Schrott.
Weird that this album was on the list, considering how late it is. And not that great?
Good voice, a tad too slow
My grandma loved him. His vocals are mixed so high on this record it feels silly. I know that's the point with Cohen. But, I mean, we get it, man. It's distracting and I honestly didn't get into this record as a result. Hoping for more early-period Cohen on this list. All the instruments sound superb. And the lyrics (especially given his subsequent death) are prescient. It feels like a final farewell.
Didn't like it
I deeply revere his 60s and 70s albums, but for me personally, he has a sharp cut off date in the 80s. His voice got flatter then and his style of arranging changed to where I no longer enjoyed the sound. Still a great songwriter all the way through to the end but honestly I'd rather hear other people interpret these songs. Hearing him croak them out on his deathbed is just sad. While listening to this album I just kept trying to imagine the songs being sung in his youthful voice.
Feels bad to say, but although i get the emption of the situation and lyrics, the voice and arrangement do less than nothing for me.
Not for me
It's like a cross-between Tom Waits and David Carradine in Kill Bill and so laid back he's basically horizontal. I understand he was in a lot of pain and near the end and that this like his spoken-word poetry but his early stuff is so much more worth listening to. I felt guilty in giving a low score so listen to it again. It does get better and maybe it's a mood thing so one night I'll play it again and get more out of it. Weirdly the attempt to jazz it up with gospel singers and organs has the opposite effect- surely it would be better more stark?
I liked the other Cohen albums that I listened to along this list, but this specific one I didn't like too much. It looks like a poetry reading session more than an album. Maybe I'm not in the vibe.
Bit weird. Better than the other one on the list.
Wenn man zu alt zum Singen ist, sollte man vielleicht 2016 kein Album mehr aufnehmen. Hoch dich in deinen Sessel und sauf dein Weizen wie ein normaler Opa, Leonard. Halbert an Alterschwäche krepiert während den Aufnahmen der gude Moh. Lasst's ihn halt in Rente gehen zefix. Besabbelt der eigentlich seine eigene Beisetzung aufm Neuen Ostfriedhof? What ever. Unerträglich.
No puedo con esa música. Serán poemas profncos, pero musicalmente es un tostón.
Weird, not my thing, but better than other album I had to listen...
I certainly do not like the weird deep voiced man (Leonard Cohen) speaking at me. If this is what the whole thing is, I will be disappointed because the music happening actually has some potential. The words also have potential as a brief google search has informed me that this is poetry or spoken word or something. This is not what I’m looking for in “music” so I’m giving it a bad review.
Leonard Cohen never resonated with me and this album, despite its themes, doesn't either.
Yawn. Steer Your Way was ok. Bout it for me. Not my cup of tea
Nope. Just nope. There were no highlights here. I didn't like anything about this album. I like some of his older work, but this is not it.
Big shock here, but 47 years on from the last album I got of his and Leonard Cohen is still painfully boring to listen to. Talking a lot, and not saying anything at all worth being said.
Not into spoken word albums
Необычно, но не мое
I don't want it darker. I want it to be better. Jesus H Christmas...he sounds like I do when I mumble to my dog in the dark when she wakes me up too early in the winter.... AH wait! There's the "darker" part! I respect that a fair set of people consider Leonard Cohen to be a visionary genius and I'm in no position to refute this - perhaps he is ... in the written word. But holy hell, I'd 100% rather give a shot to reading a book of his poetry rather than listen to this gravel dump truck set to song; and even if I could get by the vocals... the music itself I find dull and unimaginative. Hard no. 2/10 1 star.
it was so good! jk. it was awful. no offense, i know this guy was close to passing but another reason why it should not have been made. when i heard the first song i thought okay mhm maybe it’s just a bad one but then it never stopped. sorry 😢
Overrated. For people who like poems more than they like music. Can't sing at all - there comes a point at which not being able to carry a tune is an actual problem when it comes to calling yourself a musician. I like the title tune kinda sorta - thanks to the actual singers in the background. Basically, I don't want to listen to Grandpa croak at me.
Ugh - never liked him, don't understand how he's held up as a legend
04/25/2022 Darker ≠ Better
and old man talking with transformers voice talking for 36 minutes and 12 seconds. boring asf. 1/5
Not my cup of tea
Very dark and slow. Gravel vocals in no hurry. Best over a groovy beat, there's a few. Simple but solid lyrical writing.
Very good. A fitting sweet last goodby.