Sunday, October 05, 2014

Leonard Cohen, "Popular Problems"

    In "Slow," the opener of "Popular Problems," 80-year-old Leonard Cohen warns us how not to interpret the album: "It's not because I'm old / It's not what dying does / I always liked it slow." And these mostly slow tunes do belie reading the album as "a work of old age." Here, Cohen looks at love from many angles, climaxing in the speechlessness of a wondering lover: "My Oh My." But the songs also depict a perplexed individual trying to make sense of the contemporary world; with his lover gone to fight a war, he finds himself among the ruins, "standing on this corner / Where there used to be a street".


[I'm teaching a course on Writing Reviews. The first assignment was to write a 100-word review. I thought I'd take a stab at it. This is 111 words long. Two-word version of the review: "Get it!"]

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