Songs From A Room – Leonard Cohen (1969)

Album no. 169/1001 

The second album from Lenny, this went to number 2 in the UK! Only 63 in the US, not sure what that tells us. Americans refusing to respect a Canadian maybe?

Similarly to the last album, this had a mixed reception. People seemed to be into the songs, and put off by his voice. This album was also described as being more like the hangover to the party that was ‘The Sounds Of Leonard Cohen’. Some party.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: Nope.

CL: Only to his last album that appeared on this list.

Standout track

NK: The opener, ‘Bird on a wire’. It’s really good. I know this song mostly through a cover version, That helped me get into it more, because I was really interested to hear the original version. That said I still struggled to really get into the other songs. It’s not unpleasant, but I didn’t love it.

CL: Haven’t we heard all of this before? I actually thought i’d put on the first album accidentally because i can see literally no difference between them. It finding it hard to pick a standout because they really do all sound very similar. I don’t mind ‘The Partisan’, mostly because it has some different guitar lines than the same old strumming.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: This strikes me as maybe a morning after the night before type of album. Something soothing after a big night.

CL: It’s another low-key listen. Something to put on when you need a nice gentle listen.

cohen shaggy
He used to be known as ‘Four Microphone Cohen’.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: Aside from having ‘Bird on a wire’ on it, I am not completely sure. It doesn’t sound (to me at least) all that different from his last album. I wish he’d had a friend who was an insane musician who could have come in and made it a bit more interesting, like John Cale did with the Velvet Underground. Just Leonard and that guitar gets a bit much after a while.

CL: I totally agree. You could be the greatest songwriter in the world but if you only know 2 chords, it doesn’t work. I wish Leonard had done a little more with the music side of things.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: I doubt it to be honest. It’s not awful, but I’ve got a lot of other nonsense to listen to.

CL: Now that I’ve had a little time to reflect, i think i might go back and give it another go. I’m starting to think maybe I missed something?

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

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