Leonard Cohen

Songs of Love and Hate [Bonus Tracks] [Remastered]

Only 2 left in stock - order soon!
PRICE: $5.99
Add to Personal Favorites

Customers Also bought View More »

Track Listing

Review

Songs of Love and Hate is one of Leonard Cohen's most emotionally intense albums -- which, given the nature of Cohen's body of work, is no small statement. While the title Songs of Love and Hate sums up the album's themes accurately enough, it's hardly as simple as that description might lead you to expect -- in these eight songs, "love" encompasses the physical ("Last Year's Man"), the emotional ("Famous Blue Raincoat"), and the spiritual ("Joan of Arc"), and the contempt in songs like "Dress Rehearsal Rag" and "Avalanche" is the sort of venom that can only come from someone who once cared very deeply. The sound of the album is clean and uncluttered, and for the most part the music stays out of the way of the lyrics, which dominate the songs. Thankfully, Cohen had grown noticeably as a singer since his first two albums, and if he hardly boasts a range to rival Roy Orbison here, he is able to bring out the subtleties of "Joan of Arc" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" in a way his previous work would not have led you to expect. And while Bob Johnston's production is spare, it's spare with a purpose, letting Cohen's voice and guitar tell their stories and using other musicians for intelligent, emotionally resonant punctuation (Paul Buckmaster's unobtrusive string arrangements and the use of a children's chorus are especially inspired). And Songs of Love and Hate captured Cohen in one of his finest hours as a songwriter, and the best selections (especially "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Joan of Arc," and "Love Calls You by Your Name") rank with the most satisfying work of his career. If Songs of Love and Hate isn't Cohen's best album, it comes close enough to be essential to anyone interested in his work. [In 2007, Sony BMG began reissuing Leonard Cohen's back catalog in remastered and expanded editions, including an upgraded version of Songs of Love and Hate. The disc includes a bonus track, an alternate version of "Dress Rehearsal Rag" that had been recorded during the sessions for 1969's Songs from a Room. It's dominated by the same uncertain vocal delivery and curious arrangements that flawed that album, though it certainly makes for an interesting comparison to the later take on Songs of Love and Hate. The new disc comes in a deluxe book-style package that includes song lyrics, additional artwork and photos, and an essay on the album from music journalist Anthony DeCurtis.] ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Influenced By Leonard Cohen

No
Noa