Friday, 26 February 2010

Live in London

by Leonard Cohen
It’s been a long time since I stood on the stage in London... It was about 14 or 15 years ago. I was 60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream. Since then I’ve taken a lot of Prozac, Paxil, Welbutrin, Effexor, Ritalin, Focalin... I’ve also studied deeply in the philosophies and religions, but cheerfulness kept breaking through.
I just started discovering Leonard Cohen for myself. Live in London, recorded at the O2 Arena on 17 July 2008, was the first album of his I heard, even though I knew many of these songs covered by other artists. So?

If I had a hat, I would take my hat off to Mr Cohen. Of course, a lot of credit should go — and Cohen gives it — to his amazing band. At times, I wish there were just a bit less backing vocals. Luckily, there is a chance to hear the “background” singers in all their glory: Sharon Robinson takes centre stage on Boogie Street, while The Webb Sisters give a spellbinding treatment to If It Be Your Will. Unencumbered by intimate (or, indeed, any) knowledge of chanteur’s previous albums, I say: this is one great record!

A riddle in a book of love
Obscure and obsolete
As witnessed here in time and blood
A thousand kisses deep.

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