How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

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

Postby literman » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:29 am

Chris I really aprecciate your post, but I would like to ask your oppinion about Come Healing, the only track you havent commented.

As someone wrote I agree that old ideas seems the natural prolongation or evolution of Ten New Songs and Dear Heather.

The Cohen I love begins on Song of L.C and ends on The Future, in my mind the subsequent albums are something like a tip.

Indeed every song from Suzanne to Tacoma Trailer, are perfect, only dress rehersal rag and diamond in the mine, hasent aged very well.

After many years of listening to Cohen, and reading his books too, my oppinion is that lyrically death of a ladys man is his most acomplished album,
its a sort of deep exploration and can almost call it conceptual, i get a sort of same feeling but in a lesser degree with new skin.

Anyway on old ideas there are some good songs, and i have the feeling that on the next album we will also find a few, so picking
the tracks from each album you may even get something close to Cohen clasic.
Last edited by literman on Sun Feb 05, 2012 12:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Juergiano
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Juergiano » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:58 am

I dont overly like Anyhow, Crazy to love you, and Banjo. The other songs are somewhere between pretty good and very good :D
The lyrics of "Going home" are very strong IMO. I was surprised to learn that many people don t agree with me on this one, but I will get over it 8)
Thanks Leonard!
alb123
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby alb123 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:14 am

literman wrote:Chris I really aprecciate your post, but I would like to ask your oppinion about Come Healing, the only track you havent commented.
Ah, I did forget to comment on "Come Healing"...Well, I think it is one of the stronger songs, lyrically, on Old Ideas. This track has me perplexed as of now. I don't know exactly how I feel about the abundance of the backing vocalists, basically taking the driver's seat, with this track. The female vocals on Banjo blend beautifully on a song like "Banjo", even though it's not my favorite track - it's production is fantastic. I know what Leonard was trying to do with that track and he did it very well. Now, on "Come Healing", I really feel like this is a prayer...more than it is just a song. There are some beautiful lyrics in that track!! I just listened to "Come Healing" three times so I would be able to write this response. I can picture Leonard on bended knees, reciting this prayer. I just wish that he did something different with the opening, instead of having the girls begin...

-Chris
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!)
alb123
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby alb123 » Sat Feb 04, 2012 6:26 am

LisaLCFan wrote: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.
I remember the very first time that I heard Songs of Leonard Cohen and Songs From a Room. Each CD was played, start to finish, while I sat in my room alone and I remember getting goosebumps. I couldn't understand how someone could write such beautiful lyrics. Songs that were so deep, like "The Stranger Song" just blew me away. "Bird on the Wire" made me want to cry. I always get pulled into a song by the lyrics first, the music second and then the overall production last. Leonard knocked my socks off with those hauntingly beautiful lyrics!! I wish I got the same feelings from Old Ideas. I envy you!!! :-) I really do! I know the feeling that you're experiencing and I'm so jealous.

-Chris
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!)
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:17 pm

We are so various in our responses aren't we? The women vocalists opening Come Healing I find just perfect! It's right that LC begins with the understood ye deeply inpenetrable "Behold the gates of Mercy/In arbitrary space"..... To me the must surprising (and moving) lyric is Lullaby: "The mouse ate the crumb/Then the cat ate the crust/Now they've fallen in love/And they're talking in tongues" ....
John Etherington
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby John Etherington » Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:57 pm

Jonnie- I'm totally in agreement there and also with Lisa's quote "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".

Personally, I see all of Leonard's albums as the unfoldment of a journey, and would not wish to put value judgements on "Old Ideas" which I've only listened to six times, so far. My favourite albums in the past have included "Songs of Love and Hate", "Recent Songs" and "The Future". The only two I found lacking in parts were "New Skin","Dear Heather", and "Death of a Ladies Man" (which I actually like a lot and played repeatedly).

"Old Ideas" has already risen to a position way beyond my initial expectations. The depth and profundity of some of the lyrics are only just beginning to reveal themselves to me- especially in "Amen", "Come Healing" and "Different Sides". I particularly like "Though it all may be one in the higher eye/Down here where we live it is two".

All good things, John E
Last edited by John Etherington on Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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TipperaryAnn
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby TipperaryAnn » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:36 pm

alb123 wrote: Leonard knocked my socks off with those hauntingly beautiful lyrics!! I wish I got the same feelings from Old Ideas. I envy you!!! :-) I really do! I know the feeling that you're experiencing and I'm so jealous.

-Chris
Ah, but you were so much younger then - a different person, really. So was Leonard. Time marches on...
Forget your perfect offering -
There is a crack in everything...
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LisaLCFan
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby LisaLCFan » Sat Feb 04, 2012 7:06 pm

alb123 wrote: I wish I got the same feelings from Old Ideas. I envy you!!! :-) I really do! I know the feeling that you're experiencing and I'm so jealous.
I am actually surprised that numerous people on the forum seem to share your feelings about Old Ideas (I am not being critical, I am simply genuinely surprised about the somewhat less-than-enthusiastic initial response some people have had). I have not always been immediately blown away by Leonard's albums, there were 2 or 3 that needed to grow on me a bit, but Old Ideas resonated so deeply right from the start. It is certainly a wonderful feeling!
Evie B
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby Evie B » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:04 pm

alb123 wrote:
literman wrote:Chris I really aprecciate your post, but I would like to ask your oppinion about Come Healing, the only track you havent commented.
Ah, I did forget to comment on "Come Healing"...Well, I think it is one of the stronger songs, lyrically, on Old Ideas. This track has me perplexed as of now. I don't know exactly how I feel about the abundance of the backing vocalists, basically taking the driver's seat, with this track. The female vocals on Banjo blend beautifully on a song like "Banjo", even though it's not my favorite track - it's production is fantastic. I know what Leonard was trying to do with that track and he did it very well. Now, on "Come Healing", I really feel like this is a prayer...more than it is just a song. There are some beautiful lyrics in that track!! I just listened to "Come Healing" three times so I would be able to write this response. I can picture Leonard on bended knees, reciting this prayer. I just wish that he did something different with the opening, instead of having the girls begin...

-Chris
According to the cd jacket, Chris, Dana Glover is the only female singer on this track (Come Healing) so the harmonies (including the intro) must have been her voice layered. Who sings on which track is clearly accredited and the Webbs only sing on The Darkness (with Sharon). It is confusing because Dana can at times sing in a very similar style to the Webbs, but I think I have it fixed in my head now who sings with Leonard on each track.
Evie B
...he shows you where to look amid the garbage and the flowers
John K.
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Re: How Would You Rate Old Ideas?

Postby John K. » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:48 pm

Rating Leonard Cohen albums is difficult, because there's the scale that rates them against everything and then there's the scale that rates a new album against the other works by the artist.

On the first scale, "Old Ideas" represents a return to form after "Dear Heather", and is one of the better things I've heard in several years. I would rate Paul Simon's "So Beautiful or So What" a bit higher, but nothing that my other favorite performers (Neil Young, Paul Westerberg, R.E.M., Kevn Kinney, Chris Difford) have done for many years compares. There isn't one "bad" song per se, and the only weaker points are those that reminded me of Dear Heather, but there were only a couple of the ten songs. I give it a 9 on this scale.

On the "Leonard Cohen scale", Old Ideas is, in my honest opinion, quite average. This is not a bad thing, average Leonard Cohen is much much better that almost everything else in modern music. On this harder scale I rank it a 7, in the middle group of his albums, which would be (in chronological order within category):

Tops: Songs Of LC, Songs of Love & Hate, Recent Songs, Various Positions, I'm Your Man
Middles: From a Room, New Skin, The Future, 10 New Songs, Old Ideas
Lows: DOALM, Dear Heather

This doesn't mean that a "middles" doesn't have moments that compare to a "tops", but rather that the middles aren't consistently in that tops place.

And that's the last time you'll see me analyze this in that much detail, I'm a big picture guy. Oh, and I LOVE the packaging and the way it was put together and the casual photo of LC on the front. The only flaw is that it should have been a digipack vs. jewel case.

Yers,

Private John K.
I love to speak with John
He's a pundit and a fraud
He's a lazy banker living in a suit

http://www.johnkloberdanz.com

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