mostly very hollow thinny keyboard music

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
rocksoff

mostly very hollow thinny keyboard music

Postby rocksoff » Thu Jul 11, 2002 2:10 am

Nice songs, but the quality of the music backing on most songs was very inferior, and only infrequetly matches up to the good lyrics and tunes.

Very poor indeed in this respect compared to his other albums, which has a great full sound to them.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Thu Jul 11, 2002 6:01 am

Hi R,

It seems to me that this album came with a totally different intent, very specifically intended to be unlike the others. The lush, soothing melodies and instrumentation [albeit electronic] accomplishes what I believe was intended. One flows into the album and remains in it, mood basically unbroken, until the end when one flows back out of it. It's like going swimming in perfectly-temperatured water, turning smooth and flowing somersaults beneath the water, swimming in different fashion[s], thinking about various things, striding some on the soft, smooth, white sand on the bottom, yet remaining immersed in the pleasure of it all. Soft and full.

That's how it affects me. However, I've read others who share your point of view. Are you a musician yourself?

Lizzytysh
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linmag
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Postby linmag » Thu Jul 11, 2002 4:13 pm

TNS seems to have been electronically generated wherever that was possible. It's a very 21st century sound, and Leonard has made it very clear in interviews that he is satisfied with the end product. I wonder if it in some way symbolises for him his return to the here and now after his retreat(s) to Mt. Baldy - part of being 'back on Boogie Street'.

I would very much like to hear these songs performed with a live band, but then again, I would like to hear anything Leonard would care to perform live right now (dream!).
Linda

1972: Leeds, 2008: Manchester, Lyon, London O2, 2009: Wet Weybridge, 2012: Hop Farm/Wembley Arena
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Postby lizzytysh » Thu Jul 11, 2002 4:58 pm

Hi Lin....
True [hearing anything by him Live right now, would be just fine with me]! That's an interesting take on the 21st century sound, and its symbolizing his full return to it....quite apart from Mt. Baldy. I feel, at once, both suspended and supported by the music as I listen. Hearing it with a Live band, or acoustically, would be very interesting, indeed.

Lizzytysh
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Postby Linda » Thu Jul 11, 2002 5:58 pm

For me the back up music doesn't matter, it makes for a different version of the song that is all. But I am not a musician or even into instumental music so I don't have much of a ear for it unless it gets real bad. What attracts me to LC is his poetry, and his voice. Ten new Songs is a beautiful album in that fashion, Sharon and Leonard are great together, and the words to the songs come from the heart once again. A more peaceful heart.
Linda
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Postby lizzytysh » Sat Jul 13, 2002 3:37 am

Hi Linda...."It makes for a different version of the song that is all" ~ I like that perspective. Yes, "A more peaceful heart."
~ Lizzytysh
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Peace with himself and the world

Postby George.Wright » Wed Jul 17, 2002 5:02 pm

:D Leonard in Ten new songs is at peace with himself and the world after the refuge of Baldie. His wit is not less sharper though and the rich imagry is still there, gone is the anger of the future.
Georges
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Postby jurica » Sat Nov 09, 2002 2:11 pm

i've met Tom Sakic yesterday, and he pointed out how many people seem to be dissatisfied with sound of ten new songs, unlike both of us. that's when i decided to reply to this post.
i think that this is the best sounding studio recording of leonard cohen ever!
the fact is that backing sounds are as low and as simple as they get, but it only helps to emphesize great sound of leonard's and sharon's voices! further more, if they were louder or less monotone, songs for themselves might gain more weight, but collected on an album, they would lose power they seem to have, which is: power to hypnotize.(that's what happens when you concentrate completely on monotone and dull sounds - here comes my 'early 20th century pseudo-science' again, doesn't it, mr. McGeever? - btw, psychoanalysis was constituted even earlier - in 19th century).
all in all, i'm happy Leonard decided to make an album which works better as a whole experience than just set of good songs.
and melodies are plain GREAT!
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Postby Kush » Mon Nov 11, 2002 5:10 am

>>>>>i think that this is the best sounding studio recording of leonard cohen ever!

I think that is a bit of a hyperbole but I agree with other aspects of your post. The arrangement and voice in TNS does have a sort of monotone hypnotic effect as a whole album, similar to Songs From a Room or even to some of Suzanne Vega's better efforts.
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Postby Joe Way » Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:42 am

Hi All,

I recently started to listen to TNS again after liking it strongly when it was first released. It took me a little while to get used to its tone but that is quite like my reaction to most of his albums. He has a tendency to leave us behind as he moves forward and refuses to regurgitate what would be popular from his previous albums. It is one of the reasons I admire his work.

i am also fortunate to have TNS in vinyl as I am convinced that there is a discernable difference in the sound quality. The "presence" of his voice is even more predominate in the vinyl sound. It is like listening to the voice of your soul. There is history and prescience in this voice that has the lovely Sharon Robinson to underscore the mystery of our world. The electronic tracks are rightly secondary. One wonders if Moses had followers from a distance watching him when he heard the words from the Burning Bush who said="Sounded kind of tinny to me!"

One of the other notes that I would like to pass on is the "leaving-good-bye" theme. "Alexandra leaving-Alexandra lost." "Hello my love and my love goodbye." "And, oh my love, I still recall, the pleasures that we knew the river and the waterfall in which I bathed with you. Surrounded by your beauty there I kneeled to wash your feet, by such instructions you prepare the world for boogie street."

We really don't know who "my love" is referring to but since i've seen pictures of Suzanne and Rebecca DeMornay and I'm quite sure that most of Leonard's paramours were/are very attractive. I am drawn to this image of him kneeling before this beautiful woman and looking up as he kneels before her presumably nude body. Most of you are probably younger than I am, but for someone aging like me moments like that are unforgettable and underscore the transistory nature that we are born into.

At the same time in which he celebrates this sensuality, we have his on-going dialogue with whatever we call the "Supreme Being"-the "Nameless" the "I am." This conversation culminates in his realization that he has been told "This heart, it is not yours" and "You have loved enough, now let me be the lover." He looks back to a moment when "a name" is created and forward to a future of "formless circumstance." where this exquisite sensuality no longer plays a part. But "do not say the moment was imagined, do not stoop to strategies like that." The touchstones of our physical life with all its joys and sorrows-the "cardboard and piss"-is not just some illusion but "love" going "on and on."

It is quite clear to me that the depression that drove Leonard to Mount Baldy nearly did him in. He alludes to Frost's "Stopping By The Woods" where Frost's suicide is prevented by the "promises to keep." He turns this line on its head by "ditching" world tours, record contracts, love lives, to "stay alive"-unlike our sister-in-arms, Sandy, to whom this is all dedicated. I didn't know her, but many of my friends at the newsgroup did and it is both a tribute to her and a bow to our humanity and common sorrows that one of our faceless, disembodied voices touched Leonard enough to not only dedicate a song to her, but clearly affected his own notion of himself and his existence.

I really like Partisan who I met in Greece and drank "Mythos" and "Ouzo" with and I respect that he doesn't like this album-but I would say that this is a matter of taste. Never-the-less, I say to him, there is amazing substance to this work and you do both it and Leonard a grave injustice by dismissing it out of hand. All aspects were carefully and artfully planned and it has an organic wholeness to it that is remarkable. With all that said, I will add also that I don't think the musical accompaniment to "You Have Loved Enough" lives up to the sensational words. Other than that, I can't find much fault with the album-I keep loving it more and more.

Joe
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Postby lizzytysh » Wed Nov 13, 2002 6:56 am

Hi Joe,

Excuse me while I just gush :wink: here for a minute over your thoughtful, insightful, and deliberate commentary, [keeping positive comments within quota :lol: ] on Ten New Songs, which I find thorough, unique, and excellent. Not sure how much our age similarities are a factor ~ or whether I feel this simply because it is. I find that departing from and then returning to Ten New Songs, I also am totally disarmed by its lush sensuality entwined with wisdom. Who could ask for more :wink: ?

With Rebecca being Leonard's most recent and long-term love, I have always envisioned her as the nude one beneath the waterfall, with Leonard at her feet, and the long-term indelibility of its visual and emotional impact. When I read about his replacing her shoe after her "striptease" for him during the videotaping of Closing Time, I "felt" the waterfall scene again.

I also have Ten New Songs on vinyl, vinyl being my preference, as well. Yet it remains, somehow so appealing and perfect, in its jacket and sleeve. "It is like listening to the voice of your soul. There is history and prescience in this voice".....very nice. I can't look at your burning bush comment without laughing out loud :lol: ! Great wit! :D

I love what you did with your analysis of how the sensuality, goodbye-leaving, past, future, our physical life, and our love all work together within this album....and how Leonard's time on Mount Baldy was significant.

Were I to have commented on only one thing in your post, however, it would have been to thank you, thank you, and thank you ~ again ~ for honouring Sandy as you have with what you've said. So little gets said of her, yet she obviously took her rightful place in Leonard's heart.

~Elizabeth
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Postby Partisan » Wed Nov 13, 2002 3:47 pm

One year on and it is odd to see this still causing discussion. Thankyou for your kind words Jo. Hydra was a magical time and i look forward to seeing you again in 2004. I do hope you will perform again, if they ever let me near a microphone again you will definitely get a slot on my night! One small thing though, careless comments like that can rather rapidly undermine my image here! At the very least they will confuse poor Tysh and Georges.

Tysh, you said in your post "Yet it remains, somehow so appealing and perfect, in its jacket and sleeve." I absolutely agree with you. I have 2 copies on vinyl, both still shrink wrapped as it happens.(Don't email anyone, i am not selling). The problem with TNS starts as soon as you get it OUT of the packaging.

p.
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Joe Way
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Postby Joe Way » Wed Nov 13, 2002 3:58 pm

Hi Elizabeth and Partisan,

Thanks to both of you for your kind words as well. Somehow I don't think that your cover is in any danger! Is it really true that you are both the same person using different aliases? O Crown of Light and Darkened One!

Partisan, funny comment about the shrink wrap-he he! Does "having another night" as MC presumably mean you are volunteering-I'm on the committee you know.

Hope to see you both in NYC in 2004.

Best,

Joe
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:18 pm

Oh, that's VERY funny, Joe :lol: .....may send Partisan arrrggggghing into the traffic on that one! :D
Yes, I look forward to seeing you in New York, as well.
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lizzytysh
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Partisan

Postby lizzytysh » Wed Nov 13, 2002 5:22 pm

:) ~ I knew there had to be a catch :lol: .

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