Thursday, February 09, 2012


Leonard Cohen's new release, Old Ideas, has reached unprecedented worldwide creative and commercial heights with debuts in the #1 position on the official Album Sales Chart in 9 countries. Additionally, Old Ideas has smashed records with its debut at the top of the charts (official, iTunes or Amazon) in 17 countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland {trending to #1}, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK, USA). The highly acclaimed 10-song collection of new material from poet/singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen was also Top 5 in an additional 10 countries. This makes Old Ideas the highest debuting album of Leonard Cohen's career!

Both The Washington Post (U.S.) and The Telegraph (UK) declare Old Ideas "a work of genius," and worldwide praise continues to mount. In his fifth decade of producing critically-acclaimed music, Cohen remains at the top of his game, a rare event for an older artist. In TIME Magazine, Adam Kivel observes about Cohen, " he is...delivering material that matches the depth and power of that first solo record, covering the same tropes of mortality, sexuality, and religion, while remaining as vibrant and striking a poet as ever… Listeners have been relying on Cohen's heartbroken yet grinning, world-weary yet hopeful voice to get through that night for decades, and this album should continue that for a whole new batch of souls."

Old Ideas has earned four and five star reviews from the media around the world including Rolling Stone (U.S.), Irish Times (Ireland), London Evening Standard (UK), VG Nett (Norway), Uncut (UK), The Globe and Mail (Canada), New Zealand Herald (New Zealand), RTE (Ireland), The Western Australian (Australia), American Songwriter (U.S.), Mirror (UK), The Gazette (Canada), The Guardian (UK), Winnipeg Free Press (Canada), DeMorgen (Belgium), The Observer (UK), Aftenposten (Norway), Rolling Stone (Germany), The Sun (UK), Gaffa (Denmark), Daily Express (UK), Bloomberg (U.S.), Calgary Herald (Canada), The Times (UK), The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Rolling Stone (France), The Telegraph (UK) and The Mail on Sunday (UK).

Old Ideas comes on the heels of Leonard Cohen's triumphant world tour. Ann Powers of NPR (U.S.) suggests that the album "...throbs with that life, its verses rife with zingers and painful confessions, and its music sounds more richly varied than anything Cohen has done in years. Its depth comes in the tenderness and refined passion Cohen brings to his thorough descriptions of being human..."

Cohen's work has received literary recognition throughout the world. In the past year, Cohen has received the Premio Principe de Asturias, the highest literary award granted by Spain, the PEN New England award for "Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence" and in Canada, the Ninth Glenn Gould Prize. Old Ideas continues Leonard Cohen's devotion to literary excellence. About the album, Jesse Kornbluth of The Huffington Post writes, "The lyrics are something else: considered, bone-deep, precise. And smart in a way that looks like his best work – a reach for what is eternally true... He insists he has no answers...but we know he does something even more important: He asks the right questions." Bernard Perusse of The Gazette in Montreal says simply, "Lyrically, Cohen is at the top of his game."

Old Ideas brought about a reunion of several players from Cohen's past: Jennifer Warnes with vocals/arrangement on "Show Me The Place"; Sharon Robinson with vocals/arrangement on "Amen," "Darkness" (with The Webb Sisters),"Banjo" and "Lullaby"; and the Unified Heart Touring Band on "Darkness." The band performed with Cohen on his sold-out world tour. Inspired partners, Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo, assisted with the arranging, engineering and recording on the majority of the album. These collaborations have proven most successful. "Lush female harmonies still carry refrains and colour his monochrome tones, but they float on the organic pulse of a live band, that plays with gentle restraint, and weaves flowing violin, trumpet and harmonica melodies in among the glistening pearls of Cohen's epigrammatic phrases," writes Neil McCormick of The Telegraph (UK). Finally, Geir Rakvaag of Dagsavisen (Norway) concludes, "The songs are rich and musically sophisticated... Those who yearn for a new 'Hallelujah' may also come to find new evocative favorites among the ten tracks."

Old Ideas is Cohen's twelfth studio album with Columbia Records since 1967.

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