Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Leonard Cohen I’m Your Man

Posted By on Wed, Jul 19, 2006 at 12:00 AM

Tributes to Leonard Cohen are like a cottage industry — this is at least the fourth release of its kind — but the sound track to Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man has a unity lacking in 1991's I'm Your Fan and 1995's Tower of Song. (Another plus: no Don Henley). Pulled primarily from two of the live Cohen tributes staged by producer Hal Wilner, including the 2005 performance at the Sydney Opera House featured in the film (see review, p. 23), this set unfurls as an album rather than just a collection of tracks. If only it were a little more fun. You can feel the solemnity of the occasion in the respectful readings and muted backing. Even Cohen's most sparely lyrical songs came with a strong whiff of sex, and that quality is missing from most of these performances. Antony's unhinged version of "If It Be Your Will" suggests Nina Simone, another brilliant Cohen interpreter, fully animating the original composition, as does Nick Cave's snarling and emotional take on "I'm Your Man." But contributions from Jarvis Cocker, Rufus Wainwright and Teddy Thompson offer little but the chance to hear a distinctive voice singing a distinctive song, with no spark — or sexual charge — to inspire the performances.

Mark Richardson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 14, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation