Hallelujah. Hope you sing to the lord’s and mighty’s in heaven Leonard Cohen! You will be missed
Often talent needs marvelous personalities like these for its fulfillment. Often hope needs a boat to ferry toward safer seas for its true manifestation. Often music is in need of gilded voices such as the one possessed by a true doyen of music to be heard world-wide.
To say that Leonard Cohen’s passing is simply saddening would be limiting the infinite potential of this somewhat distraught albeit exceptionally remarkable singing and songwriting talent. He wasn’t just a singer, he could mourn, condemn, remark, adulate, excite, marvel and pacify hearts all at the same time.
Cohen was somber. Cohen was ecstatic. Cohen was dark clouds meet thunder and lightning. Cohen was melody in a hush form, almost as if was a philosopher was making sense out of poetry with some vividly captivating music. Better still, a poet philosophizing in a strangely haunting, sonorous voice.
Leonard Cohen, born September 21, 1934- November 11, 2016 was the high priest of poetry in its finest rhythmic manifestation. He was to Folk and Soft Rock what perhaps Jean Paul Sartre was to existentialists. Or what Joan Baez would be had she been Jack Kerouac’s alter ego, contributing toward the propolsion of creativity. He was free, he was liberated, he wanted to perfect his craft and bold as he was, Cohen was driven to challenge the last precious inch of his talent. He was sincere in his pure pursuit of perfecting his hazardous talent; hazardous for it could ignite a spark among fans just as well as uniting music lovers into appreciating his deeply melancholic voice. The references to lord, the pain inflicted by love, the joy of long, the art of self-deprecation- all these evocative yet powerful Cohen references were reasons for unison and a voice of togetherness perhaps in times of despair.
Perhaps the last classical reminder of what it meant in being fashionably old-fashioned. And sad that he has been snatched away from us maybe for the almighty couldn’t wait any longer for Cohen to trump the heavens with his melancholic wisdom and felicity expressed with a bit of daring and elegant swash-buckle. Perhaps one of the only few artists who didn’t stoop to plead audiences to march with him, rather the one whose work compelled fans to hang out with him; through his books, song writing and poetry.
There haven’t been many who have moved to New York after 31 to embark on a career as a singer having already ticked the right boxes as an accomplished writer. He was a crooner par excellence who knew how to derive pain and ecstasy all at the same time whilst making love to the mic for 5 exceptional and memorable decades. At 82, after cutting 14 studio albums, 8 live albums and 5 compilation albums, he has left behind a remarkable legacy and perhaps one that will hinge on our minds greatly for the void that can perhaps never be filled by another. For certainly, there was one Leonard Cohen. Rare as a comet, Cohen was unafraid to pay an ode to critical elements of his intimate life.
Many would have cited that Leonard Cohen, in his later years was more withdrawn, even sullen and sadder. But it remains to be seen can fans, critics and admirers ever delve a bit deeper into this genius’ mind? His mind was perhaps more occupied at fending off challenges- creative challenges at putting sense of all his magnanimous talent- than coping with lesser worldly mortals. His sonorous voice- that petulant craving at describing love and dealing with crisis – essentials of Cohen’s lyrics, the Canadian talent was loved across the world for his magnificent repertoire of singing and song-writing vignettes, gems that blazed a trail many would like to follow and blizzards that came crashing to us, but tenderly like autumn leaves, enthralling in delight, difficult to let go off.
Perhaps there could be no other braver soft rock and folk musician to have ushered in hitherto less explored genres in his given musical space. He wasn’t just the nature’s boy. He was ‘Suzanne’s (that 1960s remarkable hit) lover, he was unafraid to probe what might lay at Dance me to ‘the end of love’. In an age where sexuality underwent constantly new make-over- from Jim Morrison’s dazzlingly electrifying rock shaman avatar to Simon and Garfunkel’s mellow warrior undertone, Leonard Cohen, beat contemporaries, held on to his own against artists much younger to him and prospered in an age favoring EDM and dance music being the unwavering steady artist gifted with gruff vocals. His vocals- staid but pulsating, his style- vivid yet never adamant- determined to exact the best from his enormous potential.
For all this and more, he created a hallelujah in our lives. And must we thank him all the more for he voiced without delusion that ‘I’m Your Man’. Au Revoir legend!
Unflustered, laconic, withdrawn, scrappy, un-idealistic, bored, self-loathing midnight turd who believes the world looks beautiful when people smile