Quotation: The Hallelujah Factor


“It seems that Leonard Cohen’s strange and beautiful song, which he spent a year wrestling with and was never entirely sure about, has – thanks to over-exposure and endless cover versions – not only entered the mainstream (making Simon Cowell yet more money along the way) but become all-purpose musical shorthand for any kind of vague spiritual yearning. It’s the melody that does it – the fourth, the (fifth), the minor fall. If only Len had stayed within his usual, shall (we) say, limited melodic horizons, the song would have been safe – but alas it seems he’s inadvertently gifed the world with… a new Imagine, to be lazily reached for every time a little effort-free, content-free spiritual uplift seems called for. Well, I suppose there’s some consolation in the fact that it’s an infinitely better song than Imagine – and presumably, if Len’s on any kind of royalties deal, his coffers will be swelling nicely and he need never tour again. Hallelujah!”



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