Pop Matters - Review: SONGS FROM THE ROAD
From the nimble and spirited “Lover, Lover, Lover” that opens the disc to the version of “Closing Time” that rounds it out, there’s really not a bum moment to be found here. “Chelsea Hotel,” anchored by soulful organ, strikes a perfect note of weathered nostalgia, and its closing line, “I don’t even think of you that often,” continues to kill. “The Partisan” is a showcase for both Cohen’s vocals (especially the way he growls his way through the French portion of the lyrics) and Javier Mas’s amazing bandurria playing. “Famous Blue Raincoat” strikes with a delicate blend of accusation and forgiveness, aided by Dino Soldo’s light saxophone work. Throughout the disc, it’s striking how Cohen makes you not only reconsider songs you might have dismissed as lesser efforts (such as “That Don’t Make It Junk” from 2001’s Ten New Songs), but also marvel at how songs you’ve heard a thousand times before (such as “Hallelujah,” “Suzanne,” or “Bird on the Wire”) continue to offer something new.
-- Pop Matters, September 24, 2010