A former law student, a poet, a novelist, and a musician, Leonard Cohen is a master of the songwriting craft. You may know him from the innumerable covers of one of his hits, Hallelujah, or how many times people have said that Suzanne or So Long Marianne are some of the best songs ever written. Those people are right, of course, but for whatever reason it took his debut record 22 years to go gold. And that’s back when people bought records.
Somehow he’s still got it. Dorian Lynskey has written a great article about his new record which shows a man still looking for success on a day-by-day basis. His croons are imbued with a gruffness created by his path on the planet as a modern poet and musician. He not-so-famously hid in Mt. Baldy to study zen in the late 90’s. Since then Cohen’s work has been more reflective, accepting of human fate and Amen is no exception. The track moves like the pace of a funeral dirge and has cryptic, unforgiving lyrics.
“Tell me again, tell me over and over, tell me that you want me then… Amen.”
And just when it feels darkest, the track is rescued by a sax. Give me that Leonard Cohen afterworld, afterall.