Leonard Cohen has shaped generations with his haunting compositions and biting lyrics, and his influence still echoes today, with performers as diverse as Nick Cave and Antony Hegarty (both of whom appear here) delivering a brand of powerful, idiosyncratic music with its roots in Cohen’s unique world view. Recorded live in 2005 at the “Came So Far For Beauty: An Evening of Leonard Cohen Songs” at Australia’s Brighton Dome and Sydney Opera House, Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man also serves as the soundtrack for Lian Lunson’s acclaimed film. Selecting a singular moment is difficult, since I’m Your Man is packed with one show-stopping performance after another. Each musician is well-suited to their song of choice: the Wainwright clan (Rufus and sister Martha) deliver stunning renditions of such Cohen classics as “Tower Of Song,” “Chelsea Hotel No. 2,” and “Winter Lady,” while Hegarty renders “If It Be Your Will” as a mesmerizing, upbeat funeral march. Built like a killer mixtape, the I’m Your Man soundtrack segues seamlessly into various moods; the Latin-tinged “Everybody Knows” contrasts neatly with Cave’s reading of “I’m Your Man,” and Teddy Thompson’s heartbreaking “Tonight Will Be Fine” rests nicely against Beth Orton’s poignant interpretation of “Sisters Of Mercy.” As indispensable a document as the film of the same name, I’m Your Man is a fascinating tribute to one of popular music’s most influential troubadours.
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