2004-10-26

Brief reviews of "Dear Heather"

Michaelangeo Matos gave 3 1/2 stars (Rolling Stone) to Leonard Cohen's new album.

"What makes Dear Heather tick are the ladies who look back: longtime co-composer/producer Sharon Robinson and producer-engineer Leanne Ungar, as well as occasional co-lead vocalist Anjani Thomas ... Sometimes their work evokes wood paneling and tip jars ("Go No More A-Roving," with words by another famous poet, Lord Byron); sometimes it's stark (the spoken-with-piano "Villanelle for Our Time"); sometimes subdued and trip-hoppy ("The Letters"). But given how monochromatic Cohen tends to be, the jumbled feel works in Dear Heather's favor."

Mike Ross said that He's a poet, he knows it (Edmonton Sun, 24/10/04) and gave the album 5 stars out of 5.

"Len's latest album adds cement to the idea that song lyrics are in fact poetry - in this case, mournful, vivid sonnets of bittersweet romance and joyful doom, almost every line an emotional dagger, every dirge here inviting deep thought. That Len surrounds his desiccated voice with the sweetest sounds - female backup singers, angelic choirs, string sections, quaint and quirky arrangements - just throws his wise pronouncements into sharper relief."

Joel Selvin said that Leonard Cohen burrows his writing deeply into the fabric of music and voices and sings them as only he could(San Francisco Chronicl, 24/10/04).

"As he grows older, Leonard Cohen gets slower and lower. ... His songs are laid back in the groove further than ever, and his voice is even more impossibly basso profundo. At 70, he's still got that wink in his eye. His songcraft is elegantly and deceptively simple, no wasted motion, almost Zen in the grace and clarity of his language."

Ryan Lenz said Leonard Cohen doesn’t try to play it cool (Associated Press, 25/10/04).

"Instead [Dear Heather] reveals with the stark honesty of a love letter, the reflections of a poet who reluctantly became a rock star long ago." "And in some ways, that honesty is the album’s charm."

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