Time has been extraordinarily kind to Songs of Leonard Cohen.
While it attracted considerable fanfare upon its release in 1968, not everyone was immediately captured by its dusky charms.
Randy Newman, for one, couldnít resist the temptation to parody ĹSuzanne,Ĺ the albumís brooding opener, on his 12 Songs album. (Conversely, director Robert Altman brilliantly drew upon the dirges here for the soundtrack to his classic anti-western, McCabe and Mrs.
Miller.) But what some once found to be pretentious and affected has come to feel penetrating and ageless.
Seeded with what have become signature songs of the Canadian wordsmith (ĹSisters of Mercy,Ĺ ĹHey, Thatís No Way to Say Goodbye,Ĺ ĹSo Long, MarianneĹ), the album has a narcotic quality that owes as much to producer/musical director John Simonís inspired folk-baroque soundscapes as to Cohenís lofty lyrics and earth-bound vocals.