Old Ideas - Leonard Cohen
Old Ideas Image
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first new album from the Canadian singer-songwriter in eight years includes production work by Patrick Leonard, Ed Sanders, Dino Soldo, and Anjani Thomas.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    100
    Leonard Cohen has made the best full album of his career (song for song, sound for sound, lyrical point for point; yes, this is true) and most certainly the best album of 2012.
  2. Feb 1, 2012
    91
    Fittingly, the album is all warmth, putting Cohen's improbably expressive smoker's purr in the middle of simple yet sumptuous instrumentation.
  3. Jan 25, 2012
    90
    With simple, delicate moments of memorable poignancy such as Banjo or Amen, he has now made a late masterpiece.
  4. 80
    if it is to be his last communiqué, at least the old smoothie's going down swinging.
  5. Jan 26, 2012
    80
    Old Ideas feels like you're hearing Cohen performing live at a small club with a top-notch band of veteran players, and this new level of intimacy suits him perfectly.
  6. Feb 1, 2012
    75
    The sparse production recalls Cohen's 1988 release, "I'm Your Man," by throwing the Canadian balladeer's ever-deepening voice and his mix of poetic flair and pitch-black humor into satisfyingly stark relief.
  7. Jan 27, 2012
    50
    The voices that accompany him here are by turns syrupy and overwrought, and they work less to melt the icy tenor of the singer's voice than to soften the tracks into complete mush.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Feb 3, 2012
    10
    One of the best albums of 2012 already. Great music and lyrics,pure work of genius. At 77 years old Leonard Cohen is at his best. Don't missOne of the best albums of 2012 already. Great music and lyrics,pure work of genius. At 77 years old Leonard Cohen is at his best. Don't miss this masterpiece. Expand
  2. Mar 30, 2012
    9
    A slow meditation on life's ultimate destination, Cohen looks for reaffirmation in Old Ideas, and offers more than one amen as he and his bandA slow meditation on life's ultimate destination, Cohen looks for reaffirmation in Old Ideas, and offers more than one amen as he and his band reach for the heights of a peaceful Nirvana. Expand
  3. BKM
    Feb 3, 2012
    9
    Leonard Cohen emerges like a specter from the shadows to deliver this gem of an album. The arrrangements are minimal which allow the focus toLeonard Cohen emerges like a specter from the shadows to deliver this gem of an album. The arrrangements are minimal which allow the focus to be entirely on Cohen's weathered voice as he sings about love, loss, longing, regret and salvation with the fervor and passion that artists half his age have trouble mustering up. A true work of art. Collapse
  4. Apr 26, 2012
    8
    Leonard Cohen needs no recommendation. Who had heard songs like "In My Secret Life" and "Dance Me To The End Of Love", artist's latest albumLeonard Cohen needs no recommendation. Who had heard songs like "In My Secret Life" and "Dance Me To The End Of Love", artist's latest album entitled "Old Ideas" will please them. For the rest of listeners it's the first in eight years opportunity to familiarize yourself with unique vocals and poetic style of Cohen's songs. The album consists entirely different compositions - from sung poetry in "Going Home" and "Anyhow", the subtle ballad "Show Me The Place", acoustic and gentle "Crazy To Love You" to careless folk song - "Banjo". A solid entry in the discography of the artist. Expand
  5. Dec 14, 2014
    6
    Unlike most other Cohen albums, this one has some personality. The lyrics are thoughtful and meaningful, and the instrumentation is the bestUnlike most other Cohen albums, this one has some personality. The lyrics are thoughtful and meaningful, and the instrumentation is the best I've ever heard on a Cohen record. However, the production quality is abysmal, and there are a few tracks that slip back into the style of Dear Heather, which was terrible. On tracks like The Darkness, the groove is interesting and the organ solo is great. Cohen has some awesome moments on this LP, but he fails to keep the momentum for the entire album. Expand

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