Paul Kalkbrenner Sheds Holy Light on Leonard Cohen's 'You Want It Darker': Listen

Paul Kalkbrenner
Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images

Paul Kalkbrenner performs during the DFB Ehrenrunde on Aug. 3, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. 

Even if you can't place the name, Leonard Cohen is a force of which you're familiar. He's one of those singer-songwriters best labeled a poet and one of the most enduring creatives of the explosively counter-cultural '60s era. He wrote “Hallelujah,” people. Yes, that one.

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In September, on his 82nd birthday, Cohen released a storm-colored song called “You Want it Darker.” It explores the downsides of the religious struggle, those moments where anger and frustration give way to near apathy. It's a song about giving up, but it's delivered oh-so beautifully.

The original is stark and minimal with a bare beat, organs, and choir backing. Paul Kalkbrenner heard the tune and thought quite rightly that it had all the trappings for a hard-hitting house tune. He bolsters the beat with hand claps and lively synths. He brightens the tune but leaves the religious experience in tact. It's expertly done. It only makes the tune more relatable, if such a thing is possible. Check it out below.


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