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sexta-feira, janeiro 5

In Love With Leonard

So what is it about Leonard Cohen? What makes him so special that he is loved by musicians, even those who would never claim him as an influence, and some of the greatest singers and singer/songwriters are happy to bend their talents to the great man's songs?

Why? What makes it so special? Cohen achieves that most elusive of all literary conceits. He uses language so successfully he creates images that are at once believable but never rooted in the real world.

But there are two other reasons for Cohen's appeal. Every budding singer/songwriter will blather about how Dylan has been a great influence. Only the most discriminating, and the most left-field, of songwriters - Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley, Suzanne Vega, Peter Gabriel - cite Cohen as an influence. He doesn't appeal to everyone. His vision is restricted to a deeply introspective, overtly literary and melancholy cognoscenti.

And there is a very special secret embedded in his songs. Like the great Cole Porter and Irving Berlin classics, Cohen's songs can be endlessly reinterpreted without losing their special magic. There is always an element of Cohen in every interpretation but every singer can come to the Cohen canon and place their own, unique vocal stylings on his songs.

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