Listen to this: New singles from Pentatonix and Leonard Cohen

By Nicholas Jennings

Bob Dylan just earned the Nobel Prize for Literature. But if the laureate born Robert Zimmerman has an equal in the world of popular music it just might be Leonard Cohen. The Canadian bard began as a poet and published novels before turning his hand — and distinctive baritone — to music. Leonard may be most famous for his epic “Hallelujah,” which has been covered more than 300 times by artists ranging from k.d. lang to Dylan himself, and now acapella group Pentatonix.

Pentatonix: “Hallelujah”
The American five-piece group, which has earned GRAMMY Awards for its mellifluous acapella vocals, delivers a stunning rendition of “Hallelujah,” complete with breathtaking harmonies. A video, shot in a stark desert setting, shows Kevin Olusola, Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado and Avi Kaplan taking turns on the song’s emotional verses.

The song will be featured on the group’s second holiday-themed recording and Pentatonix posted a festive album cover on Instagram.

Leonard Cohen: “You Want It Darker”
Leonard himself considers “Hallelujah” overdone and no longer sings it. But the Hall of Fame singer-songwriter, who turned 82 in September, has just released his 14 th studio album and its title track, a bold, end-of-life reckoning that finds him at his dark and witty best.

Leonard set off a social media frenzy by telling The New Yorker that he was “ready to die.” So the legendary poet-musician posted a video on his Facebook page to dispel the notion, telling viewers that he intends to live forever.

Hello! music columnist Nicholas Jennings surveys the pop landscape each week to find the most dynamic tracks to add to your playlist.

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