Songs From A Room
Label: Columbia Nashville
Leonard Cohen's second album starts with "Bird on the Wire," probably his most famous (and most covered) song before "Hallelujah" took off decades later. Other fine numbers, such as "You Know Who I Am" and "A Bunch of Lonesome Heroes," have been overlooked. If you doubt that Cohen's performance skills match his songwriting genius, just listen to his powerful cover of "The Partisan." The only real complaint about the set is the wild overuse of the Jew's harp (which sounds like a twanging rubber band). Everyone other than Gold prospectors or street performers needs to treat that instrument carefully.