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You Want It Darker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You Want It Darker
A black-and-white photo of Cohen in a suit with a large black border around it
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 21, 2016 (2016-10-21)
RecordedApril 2015 – July 2016
StudioLeonard Cohen's house in Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles
GenreFolk rock
Length36:07
LabelColumbia
Producer
Leonard Cohen chronology
Can't Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour
(2015)
You Want It Darker
(2016)
Thanks for the Dance
(2019)
Singles from You Want It Darker
  1. "You Want It Darker"
    Released: September 21, 2016
  2. "Traveling Light"
    Released: February 23, 2017

You Want It Darker is the fourteenth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, released on October 21, 2016, by Columbia Records, nineteen days before Cohen's death.[1][2] The album was created towards the end of his life and focuses on death, God, and humor. It was released to critical acclaim. The title track was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance in January 2018. It was the last album released during his lifetime, followed by the posthumous album Thanks for the Dance which was released in November 2019.

Background

After touring extensively between 2008 and 2013, Leonard Cohen began to suffer "multiple fractures of the spine" among other physical problems, according to his son Adam Cohen.[3] Due to Leonard Cohen's mobility issues, You Want It Darker was recorded in the living room of his home in Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles and then sent by e-mail to his musical collaborators.[4]

Cohen has said his condition helped him eliminate any distractions during the recording of the album: "In a certain sense, this particular predicament is filled with many fewer distractions than other times in my life and actually enables me to work with a little more concentration and continuity than when I had duties of making a living, being a husband, being a father".[4] Despite his medical condition, Adam Cohen said his father "Occasionally, in bouts of joy, he would even, through his pain, stand up in front of the speakers, and we'd repeat a song over and over like teenagers".[3]

Music

Musically, the album is "a little bit more sparse and acoustic" compared to his recent albums, according to Adam Cohen. Blues dominates the album.[3][5]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.8/10[6]
Metacritic92/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubB+[9]
Chicago Tribune3.5/4 stars[10]
The Daily Telegraph5/5 stars[11]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[12]
The Guardian5/5 stars[13]
The Independent4/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork8.5/10[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]
ViceA−[17]

You Want It Darker received widespread acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 92, which indicates "universal acclaim", based on 28 reviews.

Accolades

Publication Accolade Year Rank
The A.V. Club The A.V. Club's Top 50 Albums of 2016 2016 11[18]
The Independent Best Albums of 2016 2016 3[19]
Mojo The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016 5[20]
Paste The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016 17[21]
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016 17[22]
Pitchfork The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s 2019 118[23]
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016 9[24]
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016 34[25]
The Wire Top 50 Releases of the Year 2016 22[26]

Commercial performance

In Canada, You Want It Darker debuted atop the album charts, with 19,400 in traditional sales and a total of 20,000 units.[27] The album occupied the top position for three consecutive weeks and sold 106,000 units by the end of the year in Canada.[28] In the United States, You Want It Darker debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 with 25,000 units, 24,000 of which were pure album sales.[29] It is Cohen's second American top 10 album.[29] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart, selling 20,330 copies in its first week and becoming Leonard Cohen's fifth top 10 album in the UK.[30] The album reached No. 1 on the Flemish Albums Chart and stayed there for 7 weeks.[31]

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Leonard Cohen.

No.TitleMusicProducer(s)Length
1."You Want It Darker"Patrick LeonardAdam Cohen4:44
2."Treaty"L. CohenLeonard4:02
3."On the Level"Sharon RobinsonA. Cohen3:27
4."Leaving the Table"L. CohenA. Cohen3:47
5."If I Didn't Have Your Love"LeonardLeonard3:35
6."Traveling Light"
  • Leonard
  • A. Cohen
A. Cohen4:22
7."It Seemed the Better Way"LeonardA. Cohen4:21
8."Steer Your Way"L. CohenA. Cohen4:23
9."String Reprise / Treaty"L. CohenLeonard3:26
Total length:36:09

Personnel

Charts

Certifications

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[82] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[83] Platinum 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[84] Platinum 30,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[85] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[86] Platinum 20,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[87] Platinum 100,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[88] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Hungary (MAHASZ)[89] Gold 1,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[90] Gold 7,500^
Poland (ZPAV)[91] 3× Platinum 60,000*
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[92] Gold 20,000double-dagger
Sweden (GLF)[93] Gold 20,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[94] Platinum 20,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[96] Gold 153,460[95]
Summaries
Worldwide 1,100,000[97]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References

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External links

This page was last edited on 3 August 2020, at 01:14
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