The ten songs on Leonard Cohen's album Old Ideas poetically address some of the most profound quandaries of human existence - the relationship to a transcendent being, love, sexuality, loss and death. Arguably the most overtly spiritual of the revered artist's albums, Old Ideas inspires commitment to a greater sense of compassion and decency.
While the recording of Old Ideas began in earnest in Jan 2011, many of the new songs and their lyrics have been in the works for years. Two album tracks, "The Darkness" and "Lullaby" were originally recorded in 2007 and early versions were performed live during Cohen's sold-out world tour.
Fans were given another hint of what to expect when Cohen made remarks as the recipient of the Principe de Asturias Prize for literature in Spain in October 2011.
"As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. And the instructions were these...Never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity & beauty."
The album by Leonard Cohen was produced with Patrick Leonard, Anjani Thomas, Ed Sanders and Dino Soldo. Complementing Cohen's signature baritone on Old Ideas are the exceptional vocalists Dana Glover, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters (Hattie and Charley Webb) and Jennifer Warnes. The album's cover design and drawings are Cohen's own.