Few artists have maintained such a devoted fan base for so long outside the mainstream as Leonard Cohen. With such a rich catalog, any compilation of his material is bound to invite discussion. Cohen Live opts to balance earlier material with work from his late-'80s/early-'90s period culled from two different tours. The newer songs include the lovely "Dance Me to the End of Love," the ominous "Everybody Knows," and "I'm Your Man." Cohen classics such as "Bird on a Wire," "Who By Fire?," and "Suzanne" are among the older songs. Backed by strong musicians, Cohen delivers the songs in his monotone rasp that is distinctly him. The renditions are fairly faithful to the studio versions, although the added warmth of the live performers provides an interesting contrast with Cohen's baleful persona. Cohen Live isn't necessarily essential, but fans will enjoy hearing one of the more original and enduring voices from the '60s in a different setting. ~ Tom Demalon
Entertainment Weekly - "...a nice excuse for a Cohen `best of' collection, and a fresh chance to savor Cohen's world of morbidity and miracles..." - Rating: B
Q - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Cohen veterans will enjoy the album as a greatest "hits" parade which reasserts the thought-provoking substance of the songs this all but tone-deaf growler has been turning out for decades..."
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