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Popular Problems Image
Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 37 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 13th studio release for the Hall of Fame singer-songwriter was co-written with Patrick Leonard, who also produced the album.
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Top Track

Nevermind
The war was lost The treaty signed I was not caught I crossed the line I was not caught Though many tried I live among you Well-disguised I had to... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Sep 22, 2014
    100
    Cohen’s triumphant return to the live arena is reflected in the growling assuredness of his vocals. An absolute treat.
  2. Uncut
    Sep 25, 2014
    90
    There is more raw drama here, a prevailing starkness. [Nov 2014, p.65]
  3. Magnet
    Nov 12, 2014
    90
    The music, co-created with producer Patrick Leonard, is sparse but energetically diverse, with dips into Memphis soul, country, cabaret and jazzy funk. [No. 115, p.58]
  4. Sep 19, 2014
    80
    Nothing here feels laboured: he can deliver songs as beautifully wrought as Samson in New Orleans--a depiction of the aftermath of hurricane Katrina--with a gorgeous understatement that only magnifies its impact.
  5. Sep 22, 2014
    80
    This album feels perfectly formed as it is though.
  6. Sep 19, 2014
    80
    Popular Problems, his 13th studio album, has everything of which a latter-day Cohen album is popularly known to be composed: the amelodic, magical croak of Cohen’s own finely aged voice; the hyper-melodic shine of his singers, who have become as integral to Cohen’s project as he himself; a loose, blurring approach to genre and tone.
  7. Oct 23, 2014
    60
    The backup vocals that seem de rigueur on all Cohen albums are often unnecessary here and at their worst distracting when sung overtop the main attraction.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 16, 2014
    5
    This album is similar to Cohen's previous, Old Ideas, but he added some instrumental quality and subtracted slightly on the lyrical side.This album is similar to Cohen's previous, Old Ideas, but he added some instrumental quality and subtracted slightly on the lyrical side. Unfortunately, lyrics are about all Cohen can do, and without them, he falls flat. Some of the instrumentals on here have SYNTHESIZER HORNS. WHY. GET REAL ONES!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW EASY IT WOULD BE TO GET A REAL HORN SECTION. Seriously. That's like my biggest annoyance in music. Anyway, there are a few tracks that stand out, but others but others are straight boring. I do like the sense of finality this album gives, not saying this will be Cohen's final album, but, it feels like I'm finishing something huge as the album closes. Overall, it's meh, and the lyrics are still good enough, as Cohen still can write some good lyrical points to make you think. Expand

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