Leonard Cohen

Popular Problems - Columbia 2014

Tracks: Tracks: 1. Slow / 2. Almost Like the Blues / 3. Samson in New Orleans / 4. A Street / 5. Did I Ever Love You / 6. My Oh My / 7. Nevermind / 8. Born in Chains / 9. You Got Me Singing

Comments:

As a longtime fan of Leonard Cohen and his songs, I must admit that I was a bit disappointed with his 2012 album "Old Ideas" - not that it was any direct weak album, but it somehow lacked something perhaps there were too few really memorable songs. So, my expectations for the sequel "Popular Problems" were not the greatest.

Fortunately, there was no new disappointment. With his latest album Cohen delivers a fine little album with good songs delivered in tasteful arrangements by Patrick Leonard. The counterpoint between Cohen's deep and somewhat worn vocals, and the beautiful female voices is one of the characteristics that I have always greatly appreciated.

Sharon Robinson, who played a key role on many of the previous albums, both vocally and in her songwriting, is not credited with any involvement this time. In return, we get fine vocals from Charlean Carmon, Dana Glover and Donna Delory. The reason I feel the urge to highlight the female vocals is obviously recognizing that without these a Cohen album would hardly work - his voice is simply not what it once was.

"Popular Problems" is a cozy, sounding album with catchy songs, which can be enjoyed many times without becoming tedious. It can be difficult to highlight individual songs, as most of them are really good; maybe if I must I'd pick "You Got Me Singing", "Slow" and "A Street"


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