“Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

Well, now that he isn’t around to see it, Leonard Cohen has finally gotten a charting song on the Hot 100. While this certainly serves as a reminder that we only really appreciate what we have after it’s gone, it still serves as a nicely respectful tribute to his memory. There have been plenty of successful cover versions of this legendary song (including a Pentatonix cover that made the charts at the same time this did), but most of them tend to overemphasize the big, sparkly chorus. Meanwhile, the real glories of this song are the lyrics on the verses, with their biblical allusions and tone of cosmic desperation, which are served better in Cohen’s original than any other version. On top of that, Cohen’s vocal performance is one of the greatest he ever gave…this was the point where his voice was just starting to deepen into the sound of real authority, and his commanding tone on these powerful words is as magnificent as the poetry itself. This is the definitive rendition of one of the greatest songs of the 20th Century, and the fact that it finally got some chart exposure in its original form is perhaps the best of all the positive developments on the charts in the last few years.

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