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Fall Album Roundup : Cohen With Clarity

November 23, 1986|KRISTINE MCKENNA

"FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT." Jennifer Warnes. Cypress. Warnes is best known for her Grammy- winning duet with Joe Cocker on "Up Where We Belong," but that Vegas showstopper is an inaccurate reflection of her talent. In fact, Warnes is a fairly unconventional artist with first-rate taste in material. She proves that much by making her first album for a new label consist exclusively of songs by the great Leonard Cohen.

Cohen tends to write desperately romantic songs for grown-ups, and Warnes proves herself an excellent interpreter of his material in that her voice has the maturity and clarity his songs call for. Whereas Cohen performs his songs in a rather gloomy manner, Warnes manages to lighten the mood without robbing the songs of dramatic content.

Included on the album are three previously unrecorded Cohen tunes (one, "Ain't No Cure for Love," written specifically for this project) and a Warnes-Cohen vocal duet. For those unfamiliar with either of these artists, this very beautiful record makes for an excellent introduction.

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