Review of “You Want It Darker” by Leonard Cohen

I got Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” CD this afternoon. I put it on and lay down to listen. Before the first track ended, hot tears were sliding down my eyes and onto the pillow. How could it be otherwise? This is a funereal CD, indeed dark but never bitter. Dark but transcendent, dark but honest and oh, so fine.

We need to engage the end with this kind of comforting courage, for it is indeed hard “to leave the table.” Still thinking we can win, we keep giving it another spin. No such luck, only the grace of surrender and acceptance.

Leonard is in charge of a great talent and he wields it darkly in this, and possibly his last, CD. And it is reasonable to cry when listening to it. Reasonable to love him both young and old. For he has given us a fine record of him from his youth to his old age.
Never satisfied with anything but the best, he prompts us to listen to what is true and what can be left on the table. Only love knows how to make this choice….

Vicki Woodyard

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