Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen and the Art of the Love Song

Fifteen years ago this week, Nick Cave gave a lecture to the Vienna Poetry Festival called “The Secret Life of the Love Song.” It’s worth reading in its entirety, because it’s a fascinating insight into the process of songwriting, but I’m bringing it up today because over the course of the lecture, Cave mentions Leonard Cohen precisely once. He does so in the context of discussing the concept of duende: “All love songs must contain duende,” he says, “because the love song is never simply happy… Contemporary rock music seems less inclined to have at its soul, restless and quivering, the sadness that [Federico García] Lorca talks about. Excitement, often, anger, sometimes — but true sadness, rarely. Bob Dylan has always had it. Leonard Cohen deals specifically with it.” … Read More

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Stream Leonard Cohen’s New Album ‘Popular Problems’ on NPR First Listen

Leonard Cohen turns 80 on September 22, and will be releasing his thirteenth studio album, Popular Problems to commemorate… Read More

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The 50 Greatest Crush Songs Ever

This week, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O releases her debut solo album, and it happens to have a very specific theme that caught our attention here at Flavorwire HQ: songs about crushes. But Karen O’s oftentimes sad, solemn songs only represent one side of the experience of having a crush. So we got to thinking: what songs about longing stick with us after the thrill of the chase turns into something deeper? Which serve as a salve when you find out that your crush isn’t mutual? What about the ones that give you the nerve to try and steal your crush away from someone else? Or how those that capture the thrilling promise of something new? All of these oh-so-complicated scenarios are represented here, in our unranked list of the 50 greatest crush songs ever… Read More

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Fall 2014 Music Preview: 20 Albums to Get Excited About

With the Song of the Summer debate finally fading in the rearview (it was a tie between Iggy and Ariana, right?), it’s time to look ahead to fall’s musical promise. Autumn always feels like a time to get weird, to invest in albums after a sunny singles-filled season.

This fall, we’re… Read More

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Listen to a New Leonard Cohen Song, and Rejoice

“I saw some people starving/ There was murder, there was rape.” Aw, welcome back, Leonard! This is the first song… Read More

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Robin Williams and the Myth of “Battling” Depression

I don’t really have a great deal to say about Robin Williams’ death, beyond the obvious: it’s tragic, and awful, and I feel terrible for his family and friends and everyone else who knew him. Two people I knew — both friends, at different stages of my life — have killed themselves in the last month, and the feeling is the same: sadness, and a measure of bewilderment, and sympathy, and loss. Suicide is an act that makes perfect, terrifying sense if you’re suicidal, and no sense at all if you’re not. If you don’t understand why someone would kill themselves, I’m happy for you, and I hope that you never do. … Read More

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Leonard Cohen to Celebrate His 80th Birthday with New Album

Leonard Cohen will celebrate his 80th birthday on September 21 by releasing a new album, Popular Problems, next month. As Rolling… Read More

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Rock’s Most Inscrutable Lyrics, As Interpreted By SongMeanings

You may have read last week that an online poll has named The Killers’ song “Human” as the most confusing lyric in rock ‘n’ roll history. But shit, “Are we human or are we dancer?” is inexplicable only for the grudge that it seems to hold against English grammar. There are many more famously obscure songs that have generated all manner of hilariously outlandish theories over the years, so let’s survey some of those ideas. And the best place to find those interpretations? Why, SongMeanings.com, the site that our music editor Jill Mapes recently described as “the Yahoo! Answers of music.” So here’s what the internet has to offer as far as adventurous interpretations of famous lyrics go, along with a highly scientific evaluation of whether or not the theory in question is even remotely convincing. Onwards! … Read More

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The Untold Stories Behind 10 Rock ‘n’ Roll Threesomes

There are lots of rock songs about sex, but a whole lot fewer about menages à trois, and you can see why: the ones that do exist are almost universally terrible. This seems like a blot on the music industry’s collective copybook, so we figured there might be some merit in investigating the circumstances behind a bunch of famous threesome songs. You’ll never believe what happened next! … Read More

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