Descriptions Of Leonard Cohen’s Voice: “Deeper than a Siberian coalmine”

Trim and dapper, Leonard Cohen today has the look of an aging mob lawyer, with a voice once described as “deeper than a Siberian coalmine.”

Leonard Cohen: Born With The Gift Of A Golden Voice

Leonard Cohen’s distinctive voice has been described so often and so strikingly that I’ve collected these characterizations under their own tag: Leonard Cohen’s Voice

This excerpt is from Leonard Cohen: the maestro who’s made the most of his misery by William Langley (Telegraph Jan 22, 2012). Photo by Ted McDonnell. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Note: Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Voice: “His sonorous rasp meshes perfectly with the earthy transcendence of his lyrics.”

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Although he’s widened his range in recent years, Cohen’s voice has always been a limited instrument, but his sonorous rasp meshes perfectly with the earthy transcendence of his lyrics.quotedown2


 

Leonard Cohen: Born With The Gift Of A Golden Voice

Leonard Cohen’s distinctive voice has been described so often and so strikingly that I’ve collected these characterizations under their own tag: Leonard Cohen’s Voice

This excerpt is from Icon: Leonard Cohen by Sam Adams (Wondering Sound: June 30, 2009). Photo by Ted McDonnell. Originally posted at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen On How His Career Would Have Been Different “If I had one of those good voices”


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I think if I had one of those good voices, I would have done it completely differently. I probably would have sung the songs I really like rather than be a writer.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

“Leonard Cohen’s Nervous Breakthrough” By Mark Rowland, Musician, July 1988. Photo of Leonard Cohen at 1993 Juno Awards by George Kraychyk. Originally posted April 9, 2009 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Leonard Cohen’s voice is so whiskey-gravelley [in Old Ideas] that he goes all the way through Tom Waits at times and enters Isaac Hayes territory, challenging the woofer under my desk” Cory Doctorow

Leonard Cohen: Born With The Gift Of A Golden Voice

Leonard Cohen’s distinctive voice has been described so often and so strikingly that I’ve collected these characterizations under their own tag: Leonard Cohen’s Voice

The excerpt in this post is from Leonard Cohen’s new Old Ideas: pure distilled Cohen, the apotheosis of gravelly poetry by Cory Doctorow (Boing Boing: Jan 31, 2012) Photo by Ted McDonnell.

“Leonard Cohen is unimaginable without, and indissoluble from, his voice.” Christopher Hitchens

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In Unspoken Truths (Vanity Fair June 2011),  Christopher Hitchens writes about the idea of what the introduction calls  “’a writer’s voice,’ or the essential link between speech and prose,”a concept poignantly significant to Hitchens because of the loss of his speaking voice to cancer. In illustrating his points, Hitchens invokes both W.H. Auden and Leonard Cohen. The pertinent excerpts follow:

When you fall ill, people send you CDs. Very often, in my experience, these are by Leonard Cohen. So I have recently learned a song, entitled “If It Be Your Will.” It’s a tiny bit saccharine, but it’s beautifully rendered and it opens like this:

If it be your will,
That I speak no more:
And my voice be still,
As it was before …

I find it’s best not to listen to this late at night. Leonard Cohen is unimaginable without, and indissoluble from, his voice. (I now doubt that I could be bothered, or bear, to hear that song done by anybody else.)

… More solemnly: “All I have is a voice,” wrote W. H. Auden in “September 1, 1939,” his agonized attempt to comprehend, and oppose, the triumph of radical evil. “Who can reach the deaf?” he asked despairingly. “Who can speak for the dumb?”

Credit Due Department: Photo by Ted McDonnell.

Note: Originally posted Sep 25, 2011 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Voice: “A cavernous monotone like the horn of an ocean liner leaving port.”

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Cohen doesn’t so much sing as chant, delivering the dire tidings with an irresistible rhythm. The message is suited to his voice – a cavernous monotone like the horn of an ocean liner leaving port.quotedown2

 

Leonard Cohen: Born With The Gift Of A Golden Voice

Leonard Cohen’s distinctive voice has been described so often and so strikingly that I’ve collected these characterizations under their own tag: Leonard Cohen’s Voice

This quotation is from Ever the Pessimist, Leonard Cohen Sings Of Doom and Gloom by Scott Pendleton (The Christian Science Monitor: July 30, 1993). Photo by Ted McDonnell