Track Review: Leonard Cohen, “The Darkness”

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Nobody expects Leonard Cohen songs to be light and fluffy, but they don’t come much blacker than “The Darkness,” the second single from Old Ideas (due January 31 from Columbia).

It opens with a flourish of classical guitar, connecting it to that Lenny sound of old, then evolves into a 12 bar blues a la Bob Dylan circa Time Out Of Mind. There’s some fine organ lyrics and some backup vocalists, too, to help illuminate things.

“I’ve got no future, I know my days are few,” sings Cohen, 77. “The present’s not that pleasant, just a lot of things to do/I though the past would last me but the darkness got there too.” Be careful; as Cohen can tell you, this darkness is contagious.

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