Leonard Cohen

Dear Heather - CBS 2004

Tracks:1. Go No More A-Roving / 2. Because Of / 3. The Letters / 4. Undertow / 5. Morning Glory / 6. On That Day / 7. Villanelle For Our Time / 8. There For You / 9. Dear Heather / 10. Nightingale / 11. To A Teacher / 12. The Faith / 13. Tennessee Waltz


"Dear Heather" was released in 2004, just three years after its predecessor "Ten New Songs", which for Cohen's standards is an unusual short interval. With "Dear Heather" Cohen takes a further step towards less singing and more recitation of his lyrics, which in turn increases the importance of the female voices which have always characterized Cohen's albums .

"Dear Heather" is a less consistent album than "Ten New Songs", which in my view is one of his very best. Where Sharon Robinson on "Ten New Songs" was an equal partner with Cohen as both songwriter and vocalist, thid role has more or less been handed over to Anjani Thomas. Robinson is still there, however, only on three of the songs; two of which are among the album's best. Especially the catchy "Go No More A- Roving" is a highlight. Robinson's vocals are always warm and soulful, and usually fit Cohen's voice and melodies perfectly. Anjani Thomas has a slightly thinner voice which goes well with Cohen’s music; on this album especially on the beautiful "The Faith" .

Another favorite is Cohen's polemical commentary on September 11 "On That Day ". Although the album is well produced respectively by Leanne Ungar , Sharon Robinson and Anjani Thomas , this cannot hide that the material is not quite on par with Cohen's best. Why include an old live recording of " Tennessee Waltz", by the way - it seems both unnecessary and out of place .

I would recommend the album mainly because of the "Go No More A- Roving" and "The Faith”

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