9 Songs, 59 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The unexpected U.S. success of Leonard Cohen’s previous studio album—1988’s I’m Your Man—led to a high-profile 1991 tribute by alternative rock musicians (I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen) that provided further proof that Cohen was experiencing a genuine, sustained comeback in his late 50s. The Future consolidated this truth, as Cohen appeared on the covers of fanzines and alternative magazines and eventually had three of the album’s songs (the title track, “Waiting for the Miracle,” and “Anthem”) included on the soundtrack to Oliver Stone’s 1994 film Natural Born Killers. The title track, “Waiting for the Miracle” (written with Sharon Robinson, who'd collaborate with Cohen on 2001’s Ten New Songs), and “Democracy” all sounded in perfect step with the vibe of the early '90s: somewhat paranoid and somewhat hopeful in the final few years before the Internet and cellphones took off. Billy Joel would later cover “Light As the Breeze.” Cohen here covered Frederick Knight’s “Be for Real” and Irving Berlin’s “Always” and threw in the instrumental “Tacoma Trailer” for what would be his last studio album for nine years.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The unexpected U.S. success of Leonard Cohen’s previous studio album—1988’s I’m Your Man—led to a high-profile 1991 tribute by alternative rock musicians (I’m Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen) that provided further proof that Cohen was experiencing a genuine, sustained comeback in his late 50s. The Future consolidated this truth, as Cohen appeared on the covers of fanzines and alternative magazines and eventually had three of the album’s songs (the title track, “Waiting for the Miracle,” and “Anthem”) included on the soundtrack to Oliver Stone’s 1994 film Natural Born Killers. The title track, “Waiting for the Miracle” (written with Sharon Robinson, who'd collaborate with Cohen on 2001’s Ten New Songs), and “Democracy” all sounded in perfect step with the vibe of the early '90s: somewhat paranoid and somewhat hopeful in the final few years before the Internet and cellphones took off. Billy Joel would later cover “Light As the Breeze.” Cohen here covered Frederick Knight’s “Be for Real” and Irving Berlin’s “Always” and threw in the instrumental “Tacoma Trailer” for what would be his last studio album for nine years.

TITLE TIME

More By Leonard Cohen