by Bradley Donalson
Leonard Cohen has been a name in the arts for five decades. He’s a poet, novelist, and visual artist in addition to being a master songwriter and musician. With his deep and soothing basso styling, he’s been giving the world jazzy, bluesy, and folk songs that wriggle their way into our hearts and minds.
On May 12, Cohen will drop the 2015 Juno Award Album of the Year Can’t Forget recorded on his recent “Old Ideas World Tour.” Complete with new original songs (“Never Gave Nobody Trouble” and “Got a Little Secret”) as well as a couple of covers (Georges Dor’s “La Manic” and George Jones’ “Choices”), the album is mesmerizing, melancholy, and beautiful. Hattie and Charley Webb and Sharon Robinson shine through in their songs and provide counterpoint to the deep of Cohen’s voice, and Alexandru Bublitchi’s violin provides color and spice.
The songs could easily be mistaken for studio recordings until you hear the crowd responding to Cohen’s voice and the magic he makes with the musicians around him. And the crowd was not hard to find. From 2008 through 2013, Cohen performed 470 shows in 31 countries to four million fans. The tours were met with extraordinary praise, which is not surprising from a man who holds a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2010) and who has been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2008), Canadian Music Hall of Fame (2006), and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2006).
Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour will be released May 12. It is currently available for pre-order at all digital service providers where fans will receive “Never Gave Nobody Trouble” instantly with purchase. From Legacy Recordings (legacyrecordings.com). More at leonardcohen.com.