Leonard Cohen is not someone who I have actually heard sing before today. I know of his most famous song “Hallelujah“, but only by other artists. Songs of Leonard Cohen is his debut album.
Cohen is Canada’s answer to Bob Dylan, but to a lesser degree at least on this album. The first song on the album “Suzanne” sounds lovely, sort of, but I have no idea what the hell he is singing about. I thought he was singing about the woman who the song is named for, but then he switches…
“And Jesus was a sailor when he walked upon the water
And he spent a long time watching from his lonely wooden tower
And when he knew for certain only drowning men could see him
He said all men will be sailors then until the sea shall free them
But he himself was broken, long before the sky would open
Forsaken, almost human, he sank beneath your wisdom like a stone”.
I could not tell what Jesus had to do with Suzanne. I listened to the album a few times, but it was like uncooked pasta. Nothing stuck to the wall.
People complain about Dylan’s voice, but Cohen’s is worse. He does not actually sing. He is basically talking through the songs. I think Canada has a lot more to offer than Cohen. They have Alanis Morissette, Bryan Adams and Justin Bieber.
“So Long, Marianne” and “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” are definitely the best songs on the album. He attempts to sing them. I read that Cohen hated the way the producer add more musical instruments to his album and he did not want there to be any drums. The producer was right and Cohen was crazy. The latter song is especially better for it.
In my opinion, this is a pointless addition to the 1001 Albums… Listen to Bob Dylan instead of Cohen. His voice is not bad for someone talking instead of singing. Songs of Leonard Cohen is mediocre. Side B is far better than Side A. 5/10.