Leonard Cohen "Show Me the Place"
Leonard Cohen is one of those people, like Tom Waits or Nick Cave, whose music never runs the risk of weathering with age. Although none were aesthetically perfect, it wasn’t like any of them, and Cohen in particular, had any especially embarrassing phases to scrub from the record. Their output when they were in their 20s and 30s was so classic, fully developed, and timeless that their later work is simply an extension of their early work. The first song from the forthcoming Old Ideas LP (from a nearly 80-year-old Cohen, no less) is the listful ballad “Show Me the Place,” which sounds like a mixture between sad Christmas music and a funeral ballad. The simple piano arrangements create a sparse canvas for Cohen to tell his poetic stories in his trademark smoky baritone. Most artists have long since passed their songwriting prime by their 75th birthday, but for someone like Mr. Cohen, who sounded old when he was young, age is simply a number. I don’t know if the whole LP will be full of worthwhile additions to his catalog, but if anyone can pull it off, it would be Leonard Cohen.