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YMMV / Leonard Cohen

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  • Dork Age: The middle point of his career, between New Skin for the Old Ceremony and Various Positions, is considered by some to contain his weakest work, and the period was marked by diminished public and critical esteem. He got better.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: During a concert in 1985, Cohen reminisced about collaborating with influential producer Phil Spector (for Cohen's album Death of a Ladies' Man), as well as their shared interest in firearms: "[He was a] delightful chap. You really get to know him, you really did get to know him. And I had a Walther PPK. He had just an ordinary .45." In 2009, Spector was convicted of murdering actress Lana Clarkson with a handgun, after what was apparently a long history of abusive behavior and threatening people (including, as it turns out, Cohen himself) with weapons.
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  • Narm Charm: The extensive use of '80s synth and drum machine on I'm Your Man can be... a lot to take in, with "Jazz Police" being probably the most egregious example. It's a great album all the same. His later live performances tended to dial it back.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Cohen actually managed to make folk music disturbing on Songs of Love and Hate. The suicidal self-loathing lyrics from Dress Rehearsal Rag are horrifying together with the stressful, endlessly repeating melody (the only "breaks" are the chorus). Even worse - Cohen was feeling like that at the time. And then we have the darkly comical Diamonds in the Mine where the vocals get increasingly unhinged as the song progresses, and by the end it's pretty much angry screaming. Both are listed under Sanity Slippage Song on the main page for good reason.


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