Leonard Cohen
Live in London

Release Date: March 31, 2009
Produced by: Edward Sanders
Format: CD



Matt Rowe


Leonard Cohen has quite a legacy in hand. With a catalogue of extraordinary albums that are far and few between but so full of quality, his concerts (when he performs) can only be a joy to be a part of. Fortunately, Cohen is gracing us with what may be his last run through with his public before retirement (I have my tickets for 04/09 LA Nokia show). Columbia has put together a 2CD Live album recorded at his July 17th, '08 show in London at The O2 Arena. And what a set it is.

The album begins disc one with a crowd favourite, his "Dance Me to the End of Love," and plays through many memorable songs that include "The Future," "Ain't No Cure for Love," "Bird on the Wire," his oft-covered "Suzanne," "So Long, Marianne," "Sisters of Mercy," and the well known "Hallelujah." And those are part of his early classics heard on here. The rest of the two CDs are completed with his post-'90s albums, Ten New Songs, and Dear Heather. All of these songs have subtle differences in composition and music style which strengthens his small catalogue.

The performance of these songs are top-notch, not only with Cohen's aging yet impactful voice, but musically. The backing band is a collection of understanding musicians that add an element of intensity to his songs. They match his aged grace perfectly, never overshadowing but enhancing the classics that Cohen fans love.

Cohen talks with his audience between tracks, feeding a live wire connection with an energy that syncs when he first steps onto the stage. The music of Leonard Cohen still contains a strength that few artists can match. There's not a song within these two CDs that don't shine brightly.

If you're a Leonard Cohen fan, this 2CD Live in London set is not only commanding but essential. It sits next to any of Cohen's classics, especially his last two (Ten New Songs; Dear Heather) because of the similarity of his current style. With such perfection, one can only hope that we haven't heard the last of Leonard Cohen from a studio standpoint. With a seat at his show, this Live CD, the companion DVD, I can forgive him if he never tours again. But with this CD, I already feel as if we have spent some time together. and that, my friends, is the mark of a great Live set.









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212 Frech

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