One of the best albums of 2016 was David Bowie’s Blackstar. Blackstar was made more poignant by the death of David Bowie only a matter of days after its release. Leonard Cohen‘s final album, You Want it Darker, shares this mournful circumstance, being released three weeks after Cohen’s death on November 7, 2016 at the age of 82. The album’s therefore not new, but it’s one that I keep coming back to.
At 9 tracks and 36 minutes long, Darker doesn’t last long. Why should it? Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is even shorter, at 35 minutes, but is up there with the best of them. What I’m saying is that it’s refreshing to listen to a whole album which can fit on one side of a 90 minute tape – remember that!
I only really got into Leonard Cohen having loved Nevermind, the main theme to season two of HBO’s True Detective. How could I not with such a great song and stunning visuals. Darker includes equally memorable tunes, including the album’s title track. Every song sounds different but still part of a whole, joined by the golden thread of Cohen’s deep and evocative tones.
It was reported that Cohen wanted to make more albums after the release of Darker. It’s regrettable that he wasn’t able to do so. Not least as he appeared to be at the height of his powers. But we can be grateful we have Darker and, for me, quite a back catalogue to explore.