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Customer Reviews

Night Magic fails to enchant

I bought this album solely on the basis of Leonard Cohen's name on the cover. The plot sounded like melodramatic pap to me, but I've read more than a few excellent books whose blurbs made them sound like brainless drivel, so I was prepared to be pleasantly surprised. What I was not prepared for was to be musically assaulted. Cohen's words are there, yes, with all his usual metaphor and excellent turn of phrase, but they are often strained by the need of the characters to express things in non-metaphorical ways. Or at least I think so. It was sort of hard to tell, since the words are almost drowned out by the chaos of Furey's music, which is frequently dissonant to the point of cacophony. Songs change direction and style midway, often twice or more, and in very jarring ways. None of the singers seem very skilled or expressive, but I can't really blame them; they are probably worn out from just trying to keep up with the changes in the music. Listen hard, though, and you'll hear Cohen underneath it all -- perhaps even one or two pieces fans will recognise. Though "The Law" (track 7) is not the song of the same name from Cohen's 1984 album, Various Positions, there is a mediocre version of "Hunter's Lullaby" (track 11), as well as a few shreds of "Dance Me to the End of Love" appearing in "Coming Back" (track 16). And if you're dedicated enough to listen all the way to the end, you will find a rather decent early version of "Anthem" (here titled "The Bells") for the final track, sung by the female lead. It would be interesting to see what Cohen himself could do with these songs if he had complete creative control, but overall, the music made the album both obnoxious and boring. I very much doubt that, even given the chance, it would ever grow on me. In my opinion, this album is for dedicated Cohen collectors only. The rest of you can save your money for something more enjoyable.

Found to be Delightful

I Found this album to be delightful. No, it's not Leonard's voice, but it is his poetry. Those who are expecting a vintage Cohen album may be disappointed, but this makes no pretense to be that. It's a musical. The music works well with Leonard's poetry. For someone who has purchased every Leonard Cohen album available since the early 1970's, I find this very different, but delightful in it's own right.

Night Magic, Lewis Furey
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Customer Ratings

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