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Pick of the Day: “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song”

Pick of the Day: “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song”


Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller pay tribute to the person born with the reward of a golden voice in “Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Music,” a documentary exploring the origin story and legacy of Cohen’s seminal, oft-covered anthem. “You go searching and see a world that can not be made sense of — you both elevate your fist, otherwise you say ‘hallelujah,’” the late Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, and novelist observes. He stresses that “individuals have been singing that phrase for 1000’s of years,” however, as his many well-known admirers emphasize all through the doc, Cohen remodeled the phrase and its that means by decoding it via his distinctive lens.

To say that writing “Hallelujah” was a laborious course of is an understatement. It’s the results of an all-encompassing, painstaking religious journey. “I at all times thought I sweated over these items,” Cohen says, however “Hallelujah” redefined his exacting requirements. It took him years to jot down the beloved basic, filling pocket book after pocket book with rejected lyrics. At one level he remembers being so annoyed by it that he was left banging his head on the ground of his resort room.

Paying specific consideration to Cohen’s spiritual and religious identification, the doc sees Cohen being described as a “seeker.” “Unlocking the mysteries of life was his major preoccupation,” we’re instructed. In tracing the evolution of “Hallelujah,” it’s clear that the track wouldn’t exist have been that not the case.

When, in the end, Cohen completed composing the track and recorded it, he and his collaborators have been satisfied they’d one thing particular. Cohen’s document label disagreed. Columbia Information rejected the album it was part of, “Numerous Positions,” unconvinced of its industrial viability. Although they’d already paid for the album, they opted to not launch it within the U.S.

It wasn’t till John Cale recorded a canopy “Hallelujah” that it began to develop a following. Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright’s takes on the track, the latter of which appeared on the “Shrek” soundtrack, made it the immediately recognizable smash hit it’s immediately, a staple of expertise competitions like “American Idol” and “The X Issue.”

In charting the track’s unlikely path to chart-topping success, the documentary additionally honors the artists who helped introduce it to the plenty and those that proceed to be impressed by “Hallelujah” and carry out it. Moreover Buckley and Wainwright, that checklist consists of Grammy winner Brandi Carlile, who speaks movingly about her relationship to the track with reference to her sexuality and faith.

“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Music” isn’t simply in regards to the man or the story behind his magnum opus — it’s an exploration of how and why “Hallelujah” resonates so deeply with so many listeners. Cohen died in 2016, however “a really damaged hallelujah” continues to ring out in his absence.

“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Music” is now in theaters.





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Written by Harry Rosen

Harry Rosen is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author.

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