With this Montreal native’s recent death the music community has lost an important member. Like Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen is not about his voice (which is average at best) but about the poetry of his lyrics and the aura that emanates from the singer. Both have plenty of substance and style. That is what separated Leonard Cohen’s music from others. His words left a mark and he was cool. At the age of eighty-two he released his most recent and unfortunately last album. What is not surprising to those who have followed the man’s career is that it is an excellent body of work. Though the scamp does have a few tricks still up his well-tailored sleeves. One is on the title track “You Want It Darker” which is given an EDM twist by DJ Paul Kalkbrenner. The dance floor is never where I thought we would be paying homage to Mr. Cohen. But there it is. Over five decades into his career and he remained relevant and vital. Lyrically the album, as you are warned in the title, is a rather dark and grim view of the world we live in. He takes a defeatist view of romance and a disbelief in the fact that religion is still prevalent in today’s modern world. There is no attempt to hide his disgust as on the track “Treaty” he sings how he is tired and angry all the time. The overall tone of it is rather haunting. Especially since he died shortly after its release. What makes the whole things majestic rather than a total downer is the fact that he seemed to know this was his last kick at the can and was leaving You Want It Darker behind as a road map through life for the rest of us.
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