Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This side two demonstrates that it is in fact possible to make a good “modern” recording, and to do so even as late as 1988, although you would need to go through quite a pile of copies to find a side two that sounds like this one.

The sound is clearly more artificial than The Man’s recordings from the ’70s, but that is to be expected, unavoidable even. Who could make records in the ’80s that sound as good as their records from the ’70s? No one leaps to mind.

How you will come by a pile of these pressing is another question. This album is quite hard to find these days. I suspect that Leonard Cohen fans tend to stay fans all their lives and are unlikely to dump their Cohen records except under extreme circumstances, perhaps even after they have them all on CD or on their Iphones.

This copy is also exceptionally quiet, Mint Minus on both sides.

Side Two

A+++, as good as it gets in our experience. So big and open yet rich and not gritty on the vocal. Huge depth and space.

The third track has more grit on the vocal, but that’s surely the sound of the tape and not a mastering or pressing problem.

Side Two

A+ to A++, with some tracks sounding noticeably better than others. Everybody Knows is big, rich and open, but First We Take Manhattan has processed vocals with a fair amount of spit and grit, as well as some smear. It suffers from the Single Syndrome EQ, brighter equaling better on the radio.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

First We Take Manhattan 
Ain’t No Cure for Love 
Everybody Knows 
I’m Your Man

Side Two

Take This Waltz 
Jazz Police 
I Can’t Forget 
Tower of Song

All Music Guide Review

A stunningly sophisticated leap into modern musical textures, I’m Your Man re-establishes Leonard Cohen’s mastery. Against a backdrop of keyboards and propulsive rhythms, Cohen surveys the global landscape with a precise, unflinching eye: the opening “First We Take Manhattan” is an ominous fantasy of commercial success bundled in crypto-fascist imagery, while the remarkable “Everybody Knows” is a cynical catalog of the land mines littering the surface of love in the age of AIDS.