Being a big fan of both Leonard Cohen and producer Phil Spector, I really wanted to like their first collaborative LP. But I can’t.
The problem doesn’t lie so much with the shortcomings of either participant as with the combination of their efforts. Spector’s work recalls the embellishments that made him famous, while Cohen, whose fine new lyrics evoke a sexually preoccupied Randy Newman, sings effusively. But the production smothers many of Cohen’s vocals. And the record, which represents a radical departure from his previous vinyl outings, often sounds like what happens when two radio stations drift onto the same frequency.
Conclusion: Cohen should return to erstwhile producer Bob Johnston and Spector should hook up with artists (Bruce Springsteen, Elliott Murphy, etc.) whose work seems better suited to his still-large talents.