WARNING: This video opens with a Korn ad sponsored by Axe Body Spray. It’s a dire commercial, one that will make you hate the internet, music, and life (in that order). But the payoff is worth it. I promise.
“Paper Thin Hotel” has always been my favorite Leonard Cohen song. There’s just something so intriguing about the thought of the songwriting lothario with his ear cupped to a hollow hotel room wall while he eavesdrops on the sounds of his lover passionately fucking someone else mere inches away. It’s the sort of salacious detail that only a Cohen song could carry—this simply would not suffice in our modern peeping-on-Erin-Andrews era of hotel voyeurism.
The walls of this hotel are paper-thin
Last night I heard you making love to him
The struggle mouth to mouth and limb to limb
The grunt of unity when he came in
I stood there with my ear against the wall
I was not seized by jealousy at all
In fact a burden lifted from my soul
I heard that love was out of my control
Rolling Stone is paying tribute to Cohen by herding in some modern songwriters to pay tribute to the Canadian musical icon in a series entitled Old Ideas with New Friends. A newly thin-ish Greg Dulli swung by and covered “Paper Thin Hotel,” an impassioned version that adds a hefty dose of crooning soul to the original, yet still remains tethered to the song’s original heartache.
If you watch one video—and one Korn commercial sponsored by Axe Body Spray—today, make it this one.