New Skin for the Old Ceremony

New Skin for the Old Ceremony

by Leonard CohenLeonard Cohen


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Leonard Cohen was a poet long before he decided to pick up a guitar. Despite singing in a dry baritone over spare arrangements, Cohen is a gifted lyricist who captivates the listener. New Skin for the Old Ceremony may be Leonard Cohen's most musical album, as he is accompanied by violas, mandolins, banjos, and percussion that give his music more texture than usual. The fact that Cohen does more real singing on this album can be seen as both a blessing and a curse -- while his voice sounds more strained, the songs are delivered with more passion than usual. Furthermore, he has background vocalists including Janis Ian that add significantly to create a fuller sound. It is no surprise, however, that he generally uses simple song structures to draw attention to the words ("Who By Fire"). The lyrics are filled with abstract yet vivid images, and the album primarily uses the metaphor of love and relationships as battlegrounds ("There Is a War," "Field Commander Cohen"). Cohen is clearly singing from the heart, and he chronicles his relationship with Janis Joplin in "Chelsea Hotel No. 2." This is one of his best albums, although new listeners should start with Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/01/2008
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC: 0886972437422
catalogNumber: 724374
Rank: 50897


  1. Is This What You Wanted
  2. Chelsea Hotel No. 2
  3. Lover, Lover, Lover
  4. Field Commander Cohen
  5. Why Don't You Try
  6. There Is a War
  7. A Singer Must Die
  8. I Tried to Leave You
  9. Who by Fire
  10. Take This Longing
  11. Leaving Greensleeves

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Leonard Cohen   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harp,Jew's Harp,Vocals
Janis Ian   Vocals,Background Vocals
Lewis Furey   Viola
Emily Bindiger   Vocals,Background Vocals
Erin Dickins   Bass,Vocals,Background Vocals
Armen Halburian   Percussion
Gail Kantor   Vocals
Jeff Layton   Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Trumpet
Barry Lazarowitz   Percussion,Drums
John Lissauer   Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Woodwind
Roy Markowitz   Drums
Don Payne   Bass
Gerald Chamberlain   Trombone
Ralph Gibson   Guitar
Jeff Laton   Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Trumpet
John Miller   Bass
Ralph Gibson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Frank Laico   Engineer
John Lissauer   Arranger,Producer
Rick Rowe   Engineer
Teresa Alfieri   Cover Design

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