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Tower of Song: Songs of Leonard Cohen
Various Artists
Tower of Song: Songs of Leonard Cohen
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1

If ever an artist deserved the tribute-album treatment, it's Leonard Cohen, an intermittently fascinating songwriter but perhaps the worst singer to ever release more than one major-label album. Cohen has never written a s...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
If ever an artist deserved the tribute-album treatment, it's Leonard Cohen, an intermittently fascinating songwriter but perhaps the worst singer to ever release more than one major-label album. Cohen has never written a song which couldn't be improved by someone else singing it, and it's no coincidence that he's been the subject of three tribute albums. The latest is Tower of Song, which turns Cohen's work over to such middle-brow pop stars as Don Henley, Billy Joel, and Suzanne Vega. The results from this new project are mixed. Melodramatic, angst-ridden vocals by Tori Amos ("Famous Blue Raincoat") and Peter Gabriel ("Suzanne") emphasize Cohen's narcissism and purple poetry. On the other hand, Elton John delivers a delightfully campy, irreverent reading of "I'm Your Man," and Sting joins the Chieftains for a nicely understated, Celtic-folk arrangement of "Sisters of Mercy." --Geoffrey Himes

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Member CD Reviews

Lyn M. from LAKE WORTH, FL
Reviewed on 9/14/2011...
Disappointed, guess I should have waited for the songs sung by Cohen himself
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Poet, Songwriter, Genius.
Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 08/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This compilation is the best in the genre of tribute albums that I have come across. The only thing lacking (and it is a black hole in terms of negligence) is a cut from Jennifer Warnes, who is the premier interpreter of Cohen's songs. Every artist on the disc shines, most especially Willie Nelson and Suzanne Vega. Nelson's rendition of "Bird on a Wire" is one of the classics of recent memory and how anyone can call Vega's interpretation of "Story of Isaac" "unispired" is not only beyond me, but belongs in another lexicon. It is brilliant and enthralling and any other adjective you wish to substitute for an synonym for great artistry. Leonard Cohen, as a songwriter, exists on a very small playing field. Some would say that only Dylan and he could occupy the same base, in fact. Whatever one's judgement (and it always boils down to a a case of tastes, in these matters) there is no denying Cohen writes verses that are about as intellectually and poetically satisfying as anyone else around. These are not just songs, but angst-ridden tone-poems that are about real-ationships that most of us who have been through the seventies and subsequent decades can absolutely relate to. I bought this CD when it was a mere cassette, about six years ago, and it still gets lots of play. "Story of Isaac," in particular, still strikes a nerve close to the main aorta. Perhaps to truly feel the deep import of this song, one must have a child him/herself. It ranks right up there with McDuff's reaction to the news of his family's demise in in terms of emotional impact. If you are not up on Cohen, give this CD a try. If you are, then definitely add this to your list, and if you aren't familiar with Jennifer Warne's fine cover album, "Famous Blue Raincoat," by all means add that one to your purchase list as well."
Some really great covers
E. Klein | Decatur, GA | 05/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There seem to be some very mixed reviews about this album on amazon[.com], and I feel the need to jump in with my own. First of all, let me say that I adore Leonard Cohen, the man is brilliant. However, as much as I enjoy listening to the master himself, I also enjoy listening to other people's interpretations of his work. Overall, I thought that this was a good tribute album and I listen to it frequently. However there were some disappointements. Don Henley's (Everybody Knows) & Sting's (Sisters of Mercy) renditions are rather boring. Bono's version of Hallelujah is just plain awful (which is very upsetting because one of the reasons I bought this album was because I just KNEW Bono, with his gorgeous voice, was going to present an amazing version of the song. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Shame on you Bono). But, there are also some real stand outs (after all it does merit 4 stars in my opinion). In particular I adore listening to the tracks performed by Tori Amos (Famous Blue Raincoat), Billy Joel (Light as a Breeze), Jann Arden (If It Be Your Will), Suzanne Vega (Story of Isaac), and Martin Gore (Coming Back to You). These songs alone, make this album worth purchasing and listening to, repeatedly. The remainder of the album, done by Trisha Yearwood (Coming Back to You), Aaron Neville (Ain't No Cure for Love), Elton John (I'm Your Man), Willie Nelson (Bird on a Wire), and Peter Gaberiel (Suzanne), is fine and remains true to the spirit of Mr Cohen's lyrics."