Hear This: Leonard Cohen’s vision of the future is as bleak as his present
In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, we’re talking about songs that take a look at the future.
Leonard Cohen, “The Future” (1992)
Though it’s sometimes been overstated, Leonard Cohen is synonymous with darkness: regret, isolation, the constancy of war and death. In his later albums especially, the brooding that earned him nicknames like the “Bard Of Bedsits” and the “Dr. Kevorkian Of Song” began to turn outward, to dwell on the whole fucked-up world. By the time of his 1992 album The Future, Cohen—whose self-imposed nickname was Field Commander Cohen, and who often ended his concerts with a military salute—was surveying the damage from afar, offering his dour assessment of the ruins laid out before him.
The title track of The Future in particular ranks among Cohen’s most pessimistic, even for a guy who …