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Dear Heather
Leonard Cohen

Dear Heather

Disc review

This latest offering from Mt. Baldy’s favourite seeker is worrisome. Is Cohen finally losing whatever it was he once had? In his old age (or prolonged adolescence) he has taken to scrawling invented esoteric symbols that signify, you know, spiritual things, all over the place. The liner notes are covered in these doodles, and so is the music. The record kicks off with a terrible, sax-laced adult contempo version of Lord Byron’s Go No More a-Roving dedicated to Cohen’s late best friend, Irving Layton. And it goes from there deeper into the ridiculous via an array of dubious backup singers and assorted laughable instrumentals. Several songs, as well as the album itself, are dedicated to dearly departed friends. The rest settle scores with old lovers; there are a couple of halfhearted love songs, and of course the requisite 9/11 ballad. Sad.

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  5 comments

  • by Gary Womac - November 25, 2004, 1:01 pm

    ..was this a review i just subjected my mind to or was this an act of pure un-mitigated whining about an album not understood by ms. koepke in the sleightest:

    several weeks back – i was in renaud-bray on st. denis scoping the dvds on sale and i had noticed the familiar sweltering voice of leonard coehn recognising that the tracks were from dear heather and throughout the majority of the album i had heard: i found nothing but his continued brilliance shining forth on every track that i had heard –

    this brings me to a rather intense point about ‘critics’ who sit and pass down their ‘law’ about this artist’s work or that artist’s work: obivously ms. koepke isn’t leonard cohen and hasn’t risen to a level of understanding that has led leonard coehn along a path that has been one of trials and tribulations – a path that has given leonard coehn great moments of illumination and great moments of shadows and darkness:

    …and as the very brilliant songwriter and singer and poet nears his end upon this plane of existence: like the zen monks who would write their death poems upon relinquishing the shell of flesh: dust: and earth leonard
    coehn has been preparing himself for his departure from the memories and the many moments this man has had and continues to lead:

    with this said — how many are willing to endure such a path as leonard coehn has followed throughout his life
    as a man and as an individual and as a singer/songwriter/poet whom pursued his muse without hesitation while many of the s0-called ‘critics’ have sat around passing their innane thoughts about like drugs during a drug deal… leonard coehn could piss in the toilet bowl for three hours and he would say more than any other modern singers being tightly package to hit that demographic mark of adults looking for nostalgia in their musick to avoid their pains and suffering from playing in the rat race of living…

    leonard cohen remains beyond peer and any measures – and i will buy dear heather.

  • by Carmela Sicurella - November 26, 2004, 10:03 am

    I have to agree with the review given by Hour critic Melora Koepke because Leonard is now an old man going crazy and losing his memory. Leonard Cohen was once an amazing singer/songwriter/poet but now is forgotten by the music industry because he has not put out a hit record in a very long time. The last time I heard of Leonard Cohen being hip and popular was when his music was featured in the Oliver Stone film Natural Born Killers. I don’t understand Leonard Cohen anymore and it’s time for this great Montreal native to hang up the mike and call it a retirement because this album is just unbearable to listen too.

  • by Maria Cecillia Silva - November 26, 2004, 6:44 pm

    Yes he has aged as we all must in the future , put to tell this man he should hang up his mike is cruel. He was and is a poet a singer a songwriter and he has done a greeat job. Actually he seems to still be very well known in Europe where people adored him and where he preformed hundreds of concerts. Maybe the younger generation don’t picjk him to listen too but he is still an Artist seeked out by his fans. Aging actually makes you loose brain cells but that doesn’t make you crazy . He is a fighter and he is trying to gain his respect which I might add he deserves and no one should take it away just because he is aging. His album Heather is beautiful and is a continuing part of his collection of excellent work.

  • by Hassen Rehane - November 28, 2004, 9:06 pm

    Leonard Cohen is certainly one of the best songwriters in the music industry. I love his poetry but the problem for me is that I can’t stand his voice (and I’m not the only one). I would buy a book with the lyrics of his new songs but I would never buy the actual CD.

  • by Jill Davis - April 23, 2006, 3:28 am

    Really, he is not that old and he is still writing brilliant poetry. Maybe you hate this past album but he has much poetry otherwise. Including recent stuff. I love his voice. I always knew he was brilliant but lately, I have fallen back in love with him. Maybe it has to do with the times and all the crap that is given credit for being wonderful now. Who knows but we cant claim he has lost his touc. Geez, he is NOT dead!

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