leonard cohen - recent songs

.:: In 1979, Cohen returned with the more traditional Recent Songs. Produced by Cohen himself, and Henry Lewy (Joni Mitchell's sound engineer), the album-included performances by a jazz-fusion band, introduced to Cohen by Mitchell, and oriental instruments (oud, Gypsy violin and mandolin). In 2001, Cohen referred to Recent Songs as his best album, releasing the live version of songs from its 1979 tour on record Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979.

Leonard Cohen (vocals, guitar). After recovering from his traumatic studio experiences with Phil Spector on ''Death Of A Ldies Man'' (Spector was said to have brandished a gun at some point), Cohen retreated to friendlier sonic climes. Aided by co-producer Henry Lewy, he filled ''Recent Songs'' with stately songpoems marked by lush (but never overdone), elegant arrangements. While there was always a pronounced literary streak in Cohen's work, the songs here find him at his most purely poetic, more the chansonnier than the troubadour. "I Came So Far For Beauty" finds Cohen in a familiar self-effacing mode, recounting his vain search for the perfect muse. Like 'New Skin's "There is a War," "The Traitor" effectively analyzes personal travails through militaristic metaphor, over semi-classical backing. The closing "Ballad of the Absent Mare," later covered by Emmylou Harris, comes off like an epic prose poem in the classic ballad style, but its slight cowboy lilt provides a nice contrast to the lyric. "Recent Songs" is arguably Cohen's most mature '70s effort.

.:: Leonard Cohen es el músico de la sempiterna tristeza, el cantante de la voz cada vez más ronca, el poeta romántico, sarcástico, comprometido. Su influencia musical, estilística y literaria ha perdurado -pese a la lacra del puntual fracaso comercial- desde el comienzo de su carrera en los años sesenta hasta hoy, dejándose ver no sólo en creadores sino también en oyentes, porque Leonard Cohen es siempre un músico que cala hasta lo más hondo.

Para Recent Songs (1979) recurre a ritmos de cadencia más blusera-jazzy y vuelve a su sencillez instrumental, esta vez con la presencia de violín y saxo acompañando su voz, ahora algo más grave y ronca. A partir de este momento los discos de Cohen aparecen con cuentagotas.

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