Leonard Cohen On The Importance Of A Song’s Resonance & “Compelling Energy”

Interviewer: The tone and the lyrics of “Popular Problems” is dark at times, but also optimistic.

It’s whether a record has a compelling energy. Doesn’t really matter what the guy’s saying. A lot of, say Jay Z or Kanye West – you don’t have to identify with every position they take, especially if you’re white. It’s not necessary to identify. It’s the energy, it’s the resonance of truth, of person, of real experience. When we are exposed to someone’s real experience, it resonates and it invigorates.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

From Leonard Cohen on ‘Popular Problems’ and How to Listen to Kanye West by Mike Ayers. Wall Street Journal: Sep 19, 2014

“[Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems] just feels elemental and easy and sexy and smart. Like the man himself” Bernard Zuel’s Insightful Review: A Must-Read


Note: Originally posted September 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems is a portrait of the artist in his joyful late period by Bernard Zuel (The Age: Sept 12, 2014) is the strongest of the reviews of Leonard Cohen’s new album published thus far. Excerpts follow, but the full article deserves reading and is available at the link:

These days we get first of all the idea, to quote a line from this record, that “the party’s over but I’ve landed on my feet” and that this ought to be celebrated. And then there’s the more serious and sustainable knowing there’s more to like than dislike about the state of his (our?) life. What’s important to note about this is that it is not a repudiation or even contradiction of earlier moments of doubt and scepticism, disappointment and despair. You know – what some would say were the key parts of both his career and reputation. No: Leonard may be laughing but he’s not doing so with his eyes closed.

Actually, oddly perhaps, it is country music which is the most frequent contributor to these songs. Even when discussing the tribulations of a slave in ancient Egypt. Furthermore, there is underneath so much of it – country, lounge bar or almost traditional – a delicious rhythmic feel, a sensuous shuffling of your ions in a manner that doesn’t require words.

“It is an exquisite pleasure to follow him, this rock Yoda, into the sunset. He fears not.” VG Review Of Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems

The music is unmistakably newer Cohen: soul, gospel and blues (more than shows), a kind of existential cabaret music, here and there with a drip of his first love, country music (“Did I Ever Leave You,” “You Got Me Singing”).quotedown2

Excerpt [via Google Translate]  Plateanmeldelse: Leonard Cohen – «Popular Problems» by Morten Ståle Nilsen (VG: Sept 15, 2014). The complete review can be found at the link.

“Rock Yoda” is, as one might suspect, a favorite entry of mine on the Leonard Cohen Nicknames List

Note: Originally posted September 16, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems Video Spot On TF1 – French TV


Dominique BOILE alerts us to a two minute spot on TF1 (Sept 28, 2014) promoting Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems.

Note: Originally posted September 28, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric


If the embedded player isn’t functional, the video can be viewed at Leonard Cohen sort un album à 80 ans

“Cohen’s lyrics remind us of a time when poetry was a serious pursuit and toiling with meter and language was a noble undertaking.” Paste Reviews Popular Problems

As good as Old Ideas was, his newest release Popular Problems is a far better album overall. All of Cohen’s familiar themes are explored on nine new songs as the characters he sings of continue to jostle with desire and sin and report back from places and situations we’d rather not ever visit or experience. His is a frail universe full of nameless men, women waiting by windows, a place where Biblical language blends with pillow talk, and erotic come-ons already carry tinges of regret. More than ever, Cohen’s lyrics remind us of a time when poetry was a serious pursuit and toiling with meter and language was a noble undertaking.quotedown2


This thoughtful, insightful, and entertaining review can be read in its entirety at Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems Review by Douglas Heselgrave (Paste: September 23, 2014)

Note: Originally posted Sept 24, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Rare Promotional Display For Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems Album

rarepopprobDominique BOILE forwards this very rare promotional item (fewer than five in existence) for Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems Album. Made from rigid plastic, it measures 600 millimeters x 200 millimeters (approximately 24″ X 8″).

Credit Due Department: Special thanks go to Laurent Le Gaigneur, the store manager of the “Espace Culturel E.Leclerc” in Lannion, France, who was the donor of this item and to Annie BOILE, who is seen in the photo displaying the piece.