Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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jerry
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Re: Fan Thoughts on

Postby jerry » Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:41 am

JudasPriest wrote:Show Me The Place is a good song aspiring to greatness without ever reaching it due mainly to a certain uncharacteristic clunkiness to one or two of its lyrics which deny an emotional payoff the music demands. One more important point: On a technical level, the pasting of Leonard's voice over the music is horrible. It's so noticeable at the start and particularly the conclusion of the track that its charm and partial spell is shattered. Please fix this before its release and don't let other tracks be ruined by the same flaw. I'm still hopeful the album can be a classic though.

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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:51 pm

Clunkiness? Were you thinking of the "rolling stone" bit of the lyric. The same thought occurred to me... it just didn't scan right.
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Violet
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby Violet » Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:50 pm

.. hi..

.. that phrase is "roll away the stone." Maybe you're just using short hand there, but I thought I should point out the distinction. Also, I can't see how "roll away the stone" is in any way clunky or jarring. Not only that, it's very effectively setting up the follow-up line "I can't move this thing alone," which becomes one of the most cherished moments in the song for me. Maybe it's the, I don't know, "largess" of the biblical reference followed by this humbly expressed predicament that becomes so touching.

.. I'm wondering if the lyrics in question had to do with the line:

.. "a thread of light.. a particle.. a wave"..

.. when I first listened to the song that line stood apart--as happens with a lot of songs when first you hear them--some lyric may stand apart as unfamiliar seeming. The word "particle" in particular stood out. But, to me, this line, this word only becomes endemic somehow to the rest of the song, after listening to it again. I mean, I've listened to this song numerous times now, and this phrase is "gathered safely in" I might say. To my ear, at least.

.. anyway, it would be interesting to hear what the initial "clunkiness" was in this regard..

v.
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:55 pm

That's right I was using shorthand.... but I do like the song over all. I get what you're saying about setting up the next line ~ but to me that's part of the problem... not only doesn't it scan properly it's a cliche used in a cliched way. It sounded too familiar - not unfamiliar. Dylan leans on this technique a lot where ther's no surprise in the language. (listen to Time Out of mind - it's awash with examples) The "particle/wave" line though, that delighted me. It can be understood on an emotional level and I never thought particle/wave duality would enter a Cohen song ~ Joni Mitchell maybe ~ but not LC.

Almost forgot - the clunkiness is a function of a non scanning cliche which stands out like a sore thumb against the rest of the lyric.
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby Harriet175 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:46 pm

„Show Me The Place“ is a very touching song, speaking to me gently and vividly about forms of acceptance and guidance, embracing the predicaments we may find ourselves in with a sense of honesty, even duty, during the journey of our lives.

There lies beauty in respecting and accepting life in its different shades, the light and the heavy, with a sense of integrity ... while we continue our striving, in spite of all we may be facing.

There lies strength and faith in affirming truthfully our limitations, our weaknesses, our vulnerable human nature, pain and love...an intimate reverence for life. Love the voice, love the song, it lingers within.

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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby mutti » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:17 pm

Breathtaking! ""Show me the Place" made my heart slow down and mind stop as I totally listened and relished in hearing
Leonard's familiar voice. The words took me to a place of great peace. I am so excited to hear "Old Ideas" and can hardly wait!
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Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby JudasPriest » Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:58 pm

The rolling stone lyric is ok by me. Not brilliant but passable. I really like the particle, wave bit although I wish his delivery of "wave" was stronger- it sounds more like "way" to my ears. It's the "hastened to behave" line that irks with me a bit if the truth be told. It seems a bit mechanical, lacking in lyrical grace somehow. Clunky. And it's a central line- I wish he came up with a more fluid and elegant way to articulate the sentiment.

Don't get me wrong, I like it but...it worries me a tad as well. His singing on the world tour was stronger than this and I really hope he gets to express his voice in ways other than the fragile whisper that most of this track comprises of.
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Re: Fan Thoughts on

Postby LisaLCFan » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:24 pm

JudasPriest wrote:The rolling stone lyric is ok by me. Not brilliant but passable. I really like the particle, wave bit although I wish his delivery of "wave" was stronger- it sounds more like "way" to my ears. It's the "hastened to behave" line that irks with me a bit if the truth be told. It seems a bit mechanical, lacking in lyrical grace somehow. Clunky. And it's a central line- I wish he came up with a more fluid and elegant way to articulate the sentiment.

Don't get me wrong, I like it but...it worries me a tad as well. His singing on the world tour was stronger than this and I really hope he gets to express his voice in ways other than the fragile whisper that most of this track comprises of.
I suppose that you could do better? Too bad that Leonard hasn't quite got the hang of this songwriting thing... :roll:

(Just in case there is any doubt, please note that I am being sarcastic!)
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Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby JudasPriest » Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:45 am

Indeed! Every critic is only such because he/she doesn't have the talent to be something more... Such is life!
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby imaginary friend » Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:05 am

I've listened many times to this haunting song.

I like Leonard's raspy whisper; it seems appropriate to me that a song that is a prayer would be sung-spoken in this intimate and vulnerable voice.

The 'rolling the stone' works (IMO) as a biblical reference to resurrection (the stone rolled away from Jesus' sepulchre...). I interpreted it (on one level, at least) as a prayer for help to revitalize/resurrect a tired, worn spirit...
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Re: Fan Thoughts on

Postby scocoh » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:36 am

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khutsky
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby khutsky » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:49 am

Really?!?!?! His use of the word slave several times, and in the context of the words, sounds racist. I don't think he means to be, but I wish he had been more sensitive to it. I can't imagine playing it for my friends and anticipating their horror.
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby Cheshire gal » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:04 am

Hi scocho,

I think you put that together beautifully. I completely agree with everything you have said, both about the new song, and the way Leonard sings during the concerts. I have always thought that it takes confidence and skill to do things so seemingly effortlessly. He knows what he wants and he does it.
'...and here's a man still working for your little smile' -Leonard Cohen
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Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby JudasPriest » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:09 am

I didn't mean the timing of his voice (I too like the delivery of the first "suffering began"). I'm referring to the volume of the music dipping dramatically when Len's vocal isn't there. Listen to the very last lines of the song carefully and you can't help but notice it. Awful.
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Re: Fan Thoughts on "Show Me The Place"

Postby holydove » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:46 pm

khutsky wrote:Really?!?!?! His use of the word slave several times, and in the context of the words, sounds racist. I don't think he means to be, but I wish he had been more sensitive to it. I can't imagine playing it for my friends and anticipating their horror.
Khutsky, I'm sorry, but your statement is totally bizarre!!

First of all, from a historical point of view, don't you know that the Jews were also slaves in Egypt for THOUSANDS OF YEARS?? So are you saying, perhaps, that Leonard is being racist against HIMSELF & his own people??

Secondly, have you heard of Leonard's book of poems, "The Energy of Slaves"? In his writing (including poems, songs & novels), Leonard has repeatedly presented a perception of lovers as slaves to each other, & to their own emotions/needs/passions. Whether you see this as a love song or as a spiritual song/prayer (I see it as both), it's clear that Leonard is referring to himself as either a slave to the woman, or to his God/Christ/etc. It is about love & surrender, not racism. And I feel that his use of the word "slave", precisely because it carries so much emotion, is incredibly powerful, poignant & beautiful!!

Scocoh: I think your reference to the "slave to Christ" quote is also accurate & relevant, along with all the other things you said about the musical apsects of the recording - nice description, thank you! I have also always loved how Leonard comes in behind or after the spot where one expects his entrance - it's so unique & lovely & beautiful!! And sometimes his entrance is such a tiny fraction off-center, that it's actually hard to tell, if you listen really closely, whether he came in before or after that spot!! And sometimes it seems that the more closely I listen, the harder it is to tell!! I love that.

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