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Dear Heather

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iTunes Review

As a notoriously slow writer whose lyrics are carefully crafted—he began as a poet and novelist, after all—Cohen catches a pleasant groove and a team of co-workers that enable him to ease his critical guard and sing what's on his mind. Leanne Ungar, Sharon Robinson, and Anjani Thomas, credited with production and often arranging, set the stage and Cohen does his master-of-ceremony's best to give the results gravitas. There's nothing here on the mythic scale of "Suzanne," "Famous Blue Raincoat," or "The Future" but that doesn't defray from the impact of the slow, brooding "The Letters" or the sheer hilarity of hearing him spell out the letters of the title track.

Customer Reviews

An Outstanding Album

This album is not the best place for an introduction to Cohen's work, nor is filled with his most immediately accessible songs. That much said, 'Dear Heather' is a brilliant and beautiful offering, full of lyrical grace and subtly crafted music. With this work Leonard Cohen leaves little doubt that, even as he approaches his mid-seventies, he remains the master of a very deep and elegant darkness. There are one or two tracks on 'Dear Heather' that could be done without; 'Dear Heather' itself (the title track) is obtuse in its meaning and rather unpleasant to the ears. Likewise, the song 'Because Of' is perhaps a trifle too self-indulgent; this account of how women continue to pay special attention to Cohen in his advanced age makes the poet/songwriter sound like a dirty old man. But those missteps are exceptions. Every other track on 'Dear Heather' offers something deep and lovely. As a statement of faith, 'There For You' is a masterpiece and possibly the most powerful single song on the album. 'Undertow' is an understated and very moving piece. 'On That Day' is probably the best song anyone has yet written about September 11th, being as direct and succinct as it is. 'Nightingale' is a pure and pretty number. 'To a Teacher' is a fantastic expression of gratitude and longing that makes superb use of its uncoventional lyrical form. 'Go No More A-Roving' is a fine tribute to Lord Byron and a fitting kind of swan-song for a romantic like Cohen. 'The Letters' is an excellent song and so is 'Morning Glory'. 'Villanelle For Our Time' is an effective inclusion, following 'On That Day' and thereby functioning as a kind of restatement of the American faith in the wake of the September 11th terror attacks. To my taste, 'The Faith' is a bit schmaltzy and 'Tennessee Waltz' is just okay, but both are nice and neither are unwelcome. In the final analysis, Cohen is simply the finest writer presently working in the medium of popular song. He has maintained that distinction for decades now and 'Dear Heather' only serves as further evidence of his considerable talents. This album is outstanding and well worth owning.

I liked "10 new songs" better

"10 new songs" just slides down like smooth liquor with depth and complexity. "Dear Heather" has some great moments but there's some noodling with the keyboard that sounds like a little too much thought went into it or something. I'm not an expert on Cohen, but his lyrics and his expression are what the music should be supporting. Some of this sounds like it's trying complement or compete on the same level as Leonard's art. On 10 New Songs, there's nothing you need to be paying attention to except the essence of the songs....on this album I find myself distracted by the musical noodling.

A Hidden Gem in a Field of Rubies

We all know LC is the Great One. The greatest poet of our lifetime who express divinity and wit, compassion, and completely engages you. You are immersed.

His first all digital recording, I own it on HRA file at 44.1/24 and wow! But forgot about the sounds, just dig on the utter beauty and depth of most every song by the master poet .


Born: September 21, 1934 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most fascinating and enigmatic -- if not the most successful -- singer/songwriters of the late '60s, Leonard Cohen has retained an audience across six decades of music-making, interrupted by various digressions into personal and creative exploration, all of which have only added to the mystique surrounding him. Second only to Bob Dylan (and perhaps Paul Simon), he commands the attention of critics and younger musicians more firmly than any other musical figure from the '60s who is still...
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