Monday, December 12, 2011

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die #169. Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room (1969

169. Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room (1969)

Label - Columbia
Producer - Bob Johnson
Art Direction - Uncredited
Nationality - Canada
Running Time - 33:51

Track Listing (standout tracks listed in bold)

Side one
"Bird on the Wire" – 3:28
"Story of Isaac" – 3:38
"A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes" – 3:18
"The Partisan" – 3:29
"Seems So Long Ago, Nancy" – 3:41
Side two
"The Old Revolution" – 4:50
"The Butcher" – 3:22
"You Know Who I Am" – 3:32
"Lady Midnight" – 3:01
"Tonight Will Be Fine" – 3:53

This is Leonard Cohen's second album – and second one reviewed for the 1001 albums. This record to me was a lot like the first one to me. I didn’t NOT like it, but his “vocals” have a lot to be desired. His song writing – or perhaps more fitting would be to call it his “poem writings set to music” are mostly fine, and really are the only reason to give this record a listen. Better yet – just get the lyric sheet and enjoy that – as it would be much better than the “songs” themselves.
The production is also kinda odd at times full of accent’s that just seem randomly thrown in. (Perhaps that IS the desired effect – I’m not too sure!). There is a harp that splashes into several tracks – kinda jolting. There is some interesting uses of an organ - and then there are some synthesizer runs that too seem just random and out of place and serve no purpose to enhance the tracks.
When released in 1969 it reached #63 on the Billboard list and #2 at UK charts. It is not recommended.

(CD, vinyl)

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