Leonard Cohen: new album, Old Ideas

Singer previews first studio album in eight years with new song, Show Me the Place

Leonard Cohen has released his first new song since 2004, taken from his forthcoming album Old Ideas. Show Me the Place is one of 10 tracks that will appear on the LP, due 31 January.

It seems Cohen has not traded in his famous blue raincoat. Show Me the Place shows all the hallmarks of his latest music, especially 2004's Dear Heather: synth strings, keening backing vocals, Cohen's baritone moan. It's a religious song typical of "[Cohen's] most overtly spiritual" record, according to a press release. "The album's 10 songs poetically address some of the most profound quandaries of human existence – the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death."

Cohen had lots of time to consider these issues during his comeback world tour, from early 2008 to late last year. Two songs, Lullaby and Darkness, were performed during these dates, while other tracks were "in the works for years". Recording did not take place until January 2011, but Cohen had help from a broad range of producers. These include the 77-year-old's partner, singer Anjani Thomas, Cohen's touring saxophonist, Dino Soldo, the Fugs' Ed Sanders, and veteran producer Patrick Leonard, known for his role on Madonna's Like a Prayer and La Isla Bonita.

The artwork for Old Ideas was designed by Cohen, incorporating several of his drawings. One of these sketches is included as a numbered lithograph in the deluxe version of the album, now available for pre-order.

Old Friends will be Cohen's 12th studio album.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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