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'A breathtaking and perfect debut, "Songs of Leonard Cohen" marked the emergence of one of the most enduring, unique, and brilliant voices in popular music. Led off by the gorgeous "Suzanne," previously a hit for both Judy Collins and Noel Harrison, the album is an exposed nerve, a Fellini-esque parade of losers, victims, and fallen angels. Brittle and unforgiving, tracks like "So Long, Marianne," "Winter Lady," and "Sisters of Mercy" are unflinchingly honest and desolate; the subdued beauty of the songs' spartan backdrop only adds to their force — Cohen takes acoustic folk, for so long a musical expression of empowerment and hope, and bleeds it dry of all its redemptive qualities. A masterpiece of perversity and pain.'