Weekly Vinyl – Blue Raincoat

4 Nov

Famous Blue Raincoat
Jennifer Warnes
(1986)
1104jwfbr
This is an album of Leonard Cohen’s songs sung by Jennifer Warnes, his primary backup singer for many years.
The music is the same – kinda. But the voice sure is different. Warnes’ voice is sunny, bright and optimistic while Leonard Cohen’s is pensive. The best contrast is on the song Joan of Arc where Cohen sings backup to Warnes. This really works well as both their voices play off each other very well. .
There are times in the album where you long to hear the deep baritone of Cohen rumbling through the song. Some of the arrangements also belie a middle-of-the road feel that makes the listener forget about listening intently to the words and relegating the music, and words, to the background. This mostly comes through in songs like Song of Bernadette and Came so Far for Beauty.
Jennifer Warnes has an incredible voice. I have made some observations above but it has to be noted that her voice exhibits great tonal range and is full bodied. It is full of life and emotion. It ain’t Cohen. But as I look at the album cover while listening to this disk I want to grab one of the Galoises that are scattered in the image and have a drag.

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