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Leonard Cohen's deeply personal first LPs came out at a time when many of his peers were issuing furious, counterculture-inspired rants; he clearly had little interest in sticking with the pack at the time. So it makes a certain kind of contrary sense that Cohen would put out an offbeat topical collection two and a half decades later. The Future is an odd duck of an album; it's also brave, funny, and fascinating. "Give me back the Berlin Wall / Give me Stalin and St. Paul," Cohen petitions sardonically in the title track, adding, "I've seen the future, brother: it is murder." "Can't run no more with the lawless crowd / While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud," he intones in "Anthem." In "Democracy," he name-checks Tiananmen Square while surveying the United States ("The cradle of the best and of the worst"). Cohen has only improved with age as a vocalist; he sounds like a cross between Mark Knopfler and Barry White. While the polished production takes some getting used to, it's somehow suitable that cooing background vocals and programmed tracks temper these low-boil diatribes. This is, after all, The Future. --Steven Stolder
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Flintock | New Mexico | 01/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cohen's rendition of "The Future" is, in my opinion, his best musical recording ever. The music is mystically haunting and draws one into the soul of it. Spellbinding."
WORDS FAIL ME
M. L. Boritz | BROOKLYN | 02/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Future" is a collection of songs i go to when i want to hear "pop" music and social and mystical insight at the highest level. Cohen is one of my spiritual teacher's who I have to put alongside 2 others: J. Krishnamurti and Anthony DeMello. I wonder if those who [deservedly] lionize his voice and music really understand his mysticism. But because I too am a horny depressed mystic and always alone, i know what he means when he sings: "Nothing left to do when you know you have been taken" and "I'm guided by a signal from the heavens". Does anyone else besides Leonard and me "hear these funny voices in the tower...". Well, i think I am in the highest of excellent company sharing phenomena with Cohen and Dylan both."