Leonard Cohenís deeply personal first LPs came out at a time when many of his peers were issuing furious, counterculture-inspired rants; he clearly had little interest in sticking with the pack at the time.
So it makes a certain kind of contrary sense that Cohen would put out an offbeat topical collection two and a half decades later.
The Future is an odd duck of an album; itís also brave, funny, and fascinating. ĹGive me back the Berlin Wall / Give me Stalin and St.
Paul,Ĺ Cohen petitions sardonically in the title track, adding, ĹIíve seen the future, brother: it is murder.Ĺ ĹCanít run no more with the lawless crowd / While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud,Ĺ he intones in ĹAnthem.Ĺ In ĹDemocracy,Ĺ he name-checks Tiananmen Square while surveying the United States (ĹThe cradle of the best and of the worstĹ).
Cohen has only improved with age as a vocalist; he sounds like a cross between Mark Knopfler and Barry White.
While the polished production takes some getting used to, itís somehow suitable that cooing background vocals and programmed tracks temper these low-boil diatribes.
This is, after all, The Future.