I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen, alternative-rock god? That’s the thesis behind this 18-track salute to the contemplative songwriter-poet. Despite the quality of the songs, though, I’m Your Fan is, like most tribute albums, a mixed bag. The majority of the record is given over to drippy British bands such as James and the Lilac Time and other favorites of the MTV 120 Minutes crowd. From their earnest interpretations, it’s obvious they’re drawn to Cohen’s no-win gloominess — the image of the ”beautiful loser,” as he called it — but misplace his caustic, deadpan wit. The Pixies, for instance, add grinding guitars to ”I Can’t Forget,” yet the song’s subtle chorus is lost in the noise. A nice idea, but those new to Cohen may be better off picking up his Best Of or his 1988 album, I’m Your Man, both of which give a clearer picture of one man coping with depression, self-deprecation, self-loathing — and, ultimately, the absurdity of it all. C+

I'm Your Fan: The Songs of Leonard Cohen
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