How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Leonard Cohen's previous album (January 2012)
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jerry
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How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby jerry » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:32 am

For those that have heard it from start to finish where does Old Ideas stand compared to the rest of Leonard's albums. As good as Songs Of? As good as Love and Hate? Or closer to Ten New Songs and The Future?
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Robocop
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Robocop » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:37 am

9 out of 10. I'm only comparing to live concert and Live in London DVD. I think its a superb effort albeit with shades of earlier work. Quality re streaming via this site is amazing: http://www.npr.org/2012/01/22/145340430 ... -old-ideas. I mean its got good bass and clean sound overall on my so called high end sound system. Which is use to some very high quality music.

I don't own any of his former material I dismissed him for years until seeing Live in London DVD then concert. Now a committed follower at 56!!
Last edited by Robocop on Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:43 am

Your question betrays your own assessment of the listed albums. What if others do not agree with the rankings you have obviously given to these four albums?

I do not like to compare Leonard's albums to one another: each is a unique work that should be assessed on its own. This is one of the reasons why I love Leonard Cohen's work: he does not put out the same record, year after year, rather, he creates something new and unique each time.

Having said that, I am quite happy to state that I think Old Ideas is one of the best albums Leonard Cohen has ever done. It is rich and diverse and brilliant, it does not sound quite like anything else he has done before, and I absolutely love it!
literman
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby literman » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:17 pm

as beautiful
Last edited by literman on Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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musicmania
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby musicmania » Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:42 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:Your question betrays your own assessment of the listed albums. What if others do not agree with the rankings you have obviously given to these four albums?

I do not like to compare Leonard's albums to one another: each is a unique work that should be assessed on its own. This is one of the reasons why I love Leonard Cohen's work: he does not put out the same record, year after year, rather, he creates something new and unique each time.

Having said that, I am quite happy to state that I think Old Ideas is one of the best albums Leonard Cohen has ever done. It is rich and diverse and brilliant, it does not sound quite like anything else he has done before, and I absolutely love it!
I agree with what you have written here Lisa!
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phillip
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby phillip » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:44 pm

LisaLCFan wrote:Your question betrays your own assessment of the listed albums. What if others do not agree with the rankings you have obviously given to these four albums?

I do not like to compare Leonard's albums to one another: each is a unique work that should be assessed on its own. This is one of the reasons why I love Leonard Cohen's work: he does not put out the same record, year after year, rather, he creates something new and unique each time.

Having said that, I am quite happy to state that I think Old Ideas is one of the best albums Leonard Cohen has ever done. It is rich and diverse and brilliant, it does not sound quite like anything else he has done before, and I absolutely love it!
well said lisa well said :)
I have been a Leonard Cohen fan for 28 years feel free to email me if you wish to keep in touch!
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peter danielsen
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby peter danielsen » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:03 am

The first time I heard the songs I thought: WTF, not what I wanted or hoped for
Then after the first few days of listening it grew and I kind of liked it
Now after 30-40 listenings I absolutely love it, tonight Im drinking beer to celebrate this fortune.
I rate it 9 of 10, its such a vibrant record, a drop of living water in this vast desert of the modern ages
Peter
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby famousbluebob » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:20 am

My favorite album is Ten New Songs which I would give a 9/10. I think Old Ideas is very good ,certainly one of his best.I would give it an 8/10.I don't like every song ,actually I have never liked every single song on any of his albums. I can't listen to the song ''The Darkness'' and think ''Anyhow'' is just an average song but I truly love all the others.I think the best song on the album is ''Amen'' .
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby MaryB » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:51 am

Old Ideas seems to me a culmination and progression from Dear Heather and Ten New Songs. This has led to the perfection and precision that LC demands in his product. A definite 10!
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alb123
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby alb123 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:10 pm

Okay, I've listened to Old Ideas from start to finish about 5 or 6 times and I'm finally ready to comment in this thread. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate Old Ideas a solid 6.5, maybe a 7. It ended up being a better album, in my opinion, than I thought it would be, based on the few songs that Leonard leaked to the press early on. Right now, I feel that "Darkness" and "Amen" are the two best tracks - the strongest lyrically. "Different Sides" and "Crazy To Love You" really moved me as well. I seriously question the production of this album. I'm a huge fan of listening to Leonard play, stripped down to just his acoustic guitar & his voice like on his earliest works and I also really enjoy fuller arrangements like we found on The Future. With Old Ideas, I think Leonard was unsure of which way to go with some of the tracks. Because of that, I feel some of the songs suffer as a result. The backing vocals, the girls singing, are gorgeous in spots and annoying in others. I've made this comment in other threads discussing individual songs and I'll repeat it here...I feel that some of the songs on Old Ideas are nowhere near what I've come to consider "Leonard Cohen Quality". Some of the songs sound like they could have been written in 10 minutes by a wordsmith like Leonard. This is in stark contrast to what we all know about Leonard. He is known to craft songs for YEARS!!! He really jumped on the "1st verse > chorus > 2nd verse > chorus > 1st verse > chorus" writing formula with this album.

I understand that Leonard, as with any true artist, isn't interested in pumping out the same formula album after album. That's fine. I don't think any of us would respect him as much as we do if every album sounded like Songs of Leonard Cohen... I'm still not sure what Old Ideas "sounds like". It would be wonderful if we could get Leonard to tell us which songs are brand new, meaning they were written, or started to be written, within the last 2-3 years and which songs truly are "old". I've read in a couple of interviews that some of these songs are truly old ideas - things he's probably been working on for more than 5 or 6 years. I've got my suspicions which are which, but it would be nice to get confirmation on that.

After several listens, I will admit that I've started to come around to the song "Lullaby". Listening to the various live performances from his last tour, I wasn't really digging Lullaby that much. I've definitely warmed to the track... Even though I still find "Banjo" to be a very weak song, I'm starting to also appreciate it's simplicity and it's theme. "Anyhow" hasn't moved me at all, yet. Neither has "Show Me The Place". So, again, overall I'd say this isn't a bad album. 6.5 out of 10 is very, very respectable. I wish I felt as strongly as some of you do -- the people who consider this album 9 or 10 out of 10 stars...Out of the many hundreds (thousands?) of albums that I have, there are only a couple of handfuls, at the most, that I consider to be 10 out of 10. Even 9 out of 10 stars, in my opinion, equates to a masterpiece! Maybe I'm just a much stronger critic than most. I don't know.

Chris

EDIT: I should add that I wouldn't be surprised if I eventually rank Old Ideas a little bit higher, maybe a solid 7 or 7.5, in the future. It regularly takes me about a year or longer to fully appreciate most albums. I anticipate taking a lot of flack for rating Old Ideas so low, but this really is my opinion. Leonard Cohen is probably my favorite songwriter of all-time. Don't think for a second that I don't hold him in the highest regard imaginable. Comparing Old Ideas to the rest of his albums, this is how I saw it...

P.S. For kicks, I decided to rank Leonard's studio albums.

1967 - Songs of Leonard Cohen (9/10)
1969 - Songs from a Room (9/10)
1971 - Songs of Love and Hate (10/10)
1974 - New Skin for the Old Ceremony (8.5/10)
1977 - Death of a Ladies' Man (2.5/10)
1979 - Recent Songs (8/10)
1984 - Various Positions (7.5/10)
1988 - I'm Your Man (8/10)
1992 - The Future (8/10)
2001 - Ten New Songs (7.5/10)
2004 - Dear Heather (5/10)
2012 - Old Ideas (6.5/10)
Waterbury, CT - May 14, 2009
Las Vegas, NV - Dec 11, 2010 (Final Show of Leonard's 3 year World Tour) INCREDIBLE!
Boston, MA - Dec 15, 2012 (Best L.C. concert I've been to!)
yentek
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby yentek » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:19 pm

I find that you always have to give Leonard's albums a chance to grow on you. They never sink in on the first or second listening - it's not easy listening pop as we all know, and the sparseness of these offerings make them even more difficult to absorb. I'm taking Old Ideas slowly now. After going through it once, I now take one song at a time and listen several times. I now adore Going Home and Amen almost as much - I'll move on to the others later.
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LisaLCFan
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby LisaLCFan » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:26 pm

I loved Old Ideas from the first moment I heard it. I thought that every song was stunning, beautiful, amazing, and I was in awe. It touched me to my core the very first time, and repeated listenings simply intensify this feeling.
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Anthony AY » Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:23 pm

Hi Folks

Always difficult to rate a oustandingly beautiful piece of art in a breathtaking colletion ...

In my personal Cohen history I experienced that Leonards songs have a distinctive different appeal to me in my stages of life.

The first album I ever heard was "New skin for the old ceremony" and allthough I still believe that it is "the" outstanding masterpiece from Leonard, it is actually not my favorite one these days. At the time (it was the early ninties and I was in the mid of my twenties) I prefered his first four albums and thought that his later stuff was "quite good" but not as good as his old songs. And I didn´t like his live album from 1994 particulary. So for years I kept listening to the four sacred albums and didn´t bother about the later ones. Almost reluctantly I started to listen to the "Ten new songs" in winter 2001/2002 and slowly and gradually I started to adore this album. After that I "rediscovered" his 1994 live album and since then I regard a lot of Leonards later songs equal and almost better than his early songs.

Today I think and feel that the very most of Leonards songs are very beautiful and touching, right from the year 1967 to 2012.
Somehow Leonards songs allways get you in the end. "Anthem" for instance, I always considered to be far too "schmalzig" und "schnulzig" and I didn´t like it at all. But there came a day that the words and the music had a tremendous effect on me ... (So it´s still a "Schnulze", but a very, very true hearted one)

I would have prefered to have more solo instrumental parts in the songs on "Old ideas", for instance from Javier or Dino. But this I already said about "New skin for the old ceremony" many, many years ago.

"Old ideas" is an excellent album and I think I will like more and more with the passing years.

Anthony
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Metatron » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:21 am

Mid tier, which is more than I expected at this stage. I'd say it's pretty clearly better than his previous 2 albums but a bit too much hit and miss to be among the big boys.

Top tier
Songs of Love & Hate
Songs of Leonard Cohen
I'm Your Man
New Skin for the Old Ceremony

Mid tier
The Future
Songs from a Room
Old Ideas
Various Positions

Low Tier
10 New Songs
Recent Songs
Dear Heather

I never want to hear this again
Death of a Ladies Man

First 4 songs, Come Healing and Different Sides are all very good (with Darkness being the standout), Crazy to Love You on the other hand is a bit too much phoning it in while Banjo drags too much for my liking. The other 2 are okay but nothing special. Production-wise it's very decent (he has done far more obnoxious things in that regard). Lyrically it's thematically not his most innovative album ever but he's very good at singing about this typical Cohen-themes so I don't mind at all. All in all i'd give it an 8/10, it's not like he's reinventing the wheel here but I honestly don't expect Leonard Cohen to do this anymore at hig age. It's very decent though and a nice surprise after the bad taste left in my mouth by his 2 previous efforts.
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:33 am

It was an unexpected pleasure. You enter that familiar universe of Leonard Cohen furnished with words like 'sorrow', 'longing', 'solitude', 'broken hearts', 'brokeness', 'Burden', 'Forgiveness', 'The Word', 'The Name', 'vison', 'guilt', 'suffering', 'sacrifice' 'Slave' 'The Cross' 'torn' ,'fragrance', 'defeat' 'tower'..... a poetic universe sui generis... understood in it's own terms. It pares everything down to it's essence. It's full of serious humour. There are echoes of 'I'm Your Man' in 'Amen', 'Bird on a Wire' in Lullaby (I almost begin to sing "don'tcry no more"..) & that plaintive harmonica!! It's so exciting that Leonard can still pull off a solo acoustic performance like 'Crazy to Love You'. It's a beautiful album. At first I thought it was very different, but actually all the old elements are still there after a few listenings. But it was nice to surprised and then discover how wonderful it actually is. It moves me anyway. Job done.

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