Drake’s Take: New Releases 01.31.12

Caught up with the Drake. -ed.

Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen
Words: Drake Lelane

This week’s collection of releases finds two at the opposite ends of life (and, well, art) in Leonard Cohen and Lana Del Rey. Elsewhere, look out for new releases from Imperial Teen, The Ex-Girlfriends Club, Hospitality, The Pines, Ringo Starr, K’Nan, Mike Doughty, and The Jealous Sound.

Playlist: New Releases 01.31.12 (Rhapsody) / Spotify

Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
Purchase [mp3] / Spotify

Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

I love to speak with Leonard
He’s a sportsman and a shepherd
He’s a lazy bastard living in a suit

“Going Home”

I always forget that music was Leonard Cohen’s 2nd vocation, not releasing his first album (The Songs of Leonard Cohen, 1967) until he was 33 years old. He was the one “New Bob Dylan” that was older than Dylan. He’s 78 now, and the age is starting to show, his voice deepening to a point that it’s otherworldly in delivery. In an interview with the New York Times, Cohen confessed that mortality was on his mind in the writing of Old Ideas, and like many who reach the end of their road, Cohen turns to religion, here in the form of Gospel hymnals and an old man’s ruminations from a dusty pew. “I’ve got no future, I know my days are few” he sings on the single “Darkness,” and Cohen sounds tired, but in a reclined, luxurious way. Where in the past, Cohen might have used this scenario for sexual despair, he’s not as much a sexual being, admitting “Hey, I don’t miss it baby… I ain’t got no taste for anything at all.” “Show Me the Place,” meanwhile, is the cornerstone of Old Ideas, a kind of updated “Hallelujiah” (or, perhaps “If It Be Your Will,” from 1984’s Various Positions). While he probably should’ve ended the album with this beautiful hymnal, it’s hard not to fault him putting down his Ace in the first third. Life’s too short at this point to wait for dessert.

Free AOL Album Stream

Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
Purchase [mp3] / Stream via Rhapsody

Lana Del Rey - Born to Die
After all the hype and attention, there’s a fine pop EP you can cobble together from Lana Del Rey’s debut release, Born to Die. “Video Games” can keep a small boat like that afloat, but all the misfires over across this full length release is just too much weight for any great song to bear. While it seems like this review, nee, ‘blurb’ is kind short, I just don’t see the point of dedicating anymore digital ink to Lizzie Grant. There’s been plenty enough as is, and I don’t really have anything new to add.

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Imperial Teen – Feel the Sound / “Runaway” [mp3]
The Ex-Girlfriends Club – Boo Hoo / “The Witch” (Sonics cover) [mp3]
The Pines – Dark So Gold
Hospitality – Hospitality / “Friends of Friends” [mp3] / “Betty Wang” [mp3]
Gotye – Making Mirrors
Ringo Starr – 2012
K’naan – More Beautiful Than Silence / Free AOL Album Stream
Mike Doughty – Question Jar
The Jealous Sound – A Gentle Reminder
The Internet – Purple Naked Ladies
Hit the Lights – Invicta / Free AOL Album Stream
Prinzhorn Dance School – Clay Class / Free AOL Album Stream
Elephant Micah – Golden Gate Groove: The Sound Of Philadelphia in San Francisco 1973 / Free AOL Album Stream
Hospitality – Louder Than Thou / “If I Were a Surfer” [mp3]