11 November 2016, Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen has died. I didn’t care for him much on the page, but what a singing voice. I was surprised to learn of his death as I heard a review of his new album on the radio just last week. I stopped what I was playing at the gig last night and put on the live version of “Lover Lover Lover” from Field Commander Cohen. Then, to get back to the kind of mood I like more, I played a Cohen song I also like more: “First We Take Manhattan.”

“First We Take Manhattan” is not amazing as far as synthpop goes, with its swelling choral pads and gated reverb on the snare. And here’s more proof that digital synthesis didn’t help bass or horn sounds in the late 1980s. We forgive all of that to hear Cohen threaten a takeover of major metropolises. First Manhattan, then we take Berlin.