by VVN Music
Leonard Cohen will release just the fourteenth studio album of his 49 year recording career on October 21 with You Want It Darker.
Cohen, who turns 82 today, has seen his career make a huge resurgence in the last five years starting with the album Old Ideas (2012 / #3) and Popular Problems (2014 / #15). Both albums, along with a seemingly unending tour over a multi-year period, put Cohen in a completely separate realm from anything he had experienced before. Up until those two albums, his most successful had been 1969's Songs From a Room which only went to 63.
The first single, the title song from the album, was released earlier today.
The press release for the album goes into a bit of detail on each track:
You Want It Darker
Hypnotic groove. The surprise of a great synagogue choir. An unflinching exploration of the religious mind.
“Didn’t know I had permission to murder and to maim.”
One of Cohen’s signature melodies. A confession of the selfishness of love and the hope of a correction.
“Only one of us was real—and that was me.”
On the Level
An old man’s take on desire.
“I was fighting with temptation, but I didn’t want to win”
Leaving the Table
A slow, relentless, and somehow joyous ballad of letting it all go by. A guitar solo you will remember.
“I’m leaving the table, I’m out of the game.”
If I Didn’t Have Your Love
A classic Cohen love song: the deep gratitude felt by one heart opening to another.
“That’s how broken it would be,
what the world would seem to me,
if I didn’t have your love to make it real.”
A seeker hits the road and finds the joys of solitude.
“I’m traveling light
It’s au revoir
My once so bright
My fallen star”
It Seemed the Better Way
The feeling of a prayer that’s been there forever, but the spiritual comforts of the past no longer available.
“Lift this glass of blood, try to say the grace.”
Steer Your Way
A song of courage as the heart moves into the darkness.
“Steer your heart past the pain that is far more real than you.”
String Reprise/ Treaty
A brilliant reimagining of “Treaty” as a string quartet; a truly glorious moment ending with a few words from Leonard himself.
“I wish there was a treaty we could sign.”