Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
MichaelPlater
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby MichaelPlater » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:45 am

Having read through most of the actual reviews of Dear Heather I'm annoyed by the amount of undeserved criticism this album has attracted since it's release. Most of this criticisms seem, at best, glib, and at worst hopelessly misinformed. One of the most persistent criticisms is of the amount of synths/programming on the album - a strange reaction considering this is the least computer-driven album of Leonard's since Recent Songs in 79. Surely the target of such criticism would be Ten New Songs, and not Dear Heather, where such instruments as acoustic guitars, violin and strings, sax, harp, and piano feature fairly prominently. Then there's all this nonsense about it being Cohen's last album, his "goodbye," which seems based purely on the fact that he's now 70. It seems a bit presumptous. I personally think the album is his best since "I'm Your Man" and that songs such as "The Faith" and "The Letters" will go down as L.C classics. I do agree that "No More A-Roving" is a bit crap though.
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peter danielsen
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Postby peter danielsen » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:57 pm

i dont think there is any crap on this cd. I believe it to be one of the best yet, but "...we love the easy and the smart"
peter
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jerry
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Postby jerry » Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:16 am

It reminds me of when Dylan put out Nashville Skyline Or John Wesley Harding after having made Bonde On Blonde and Highway 61. Stripped down very short songs.
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Jonnie Falafel
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Postby Jonnie Falafel » Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:30 pm

Yeah but we could live with the parables that were John Wesley Harding but oh mercy what grief Nashville Skyline stirred up..... thankfully Dear Heather's better than that.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:30 am

There wasn't much on this that 'grabbed' me right away. I liked Morning Glory and the title track. Even the Letters. It reminded me of a Tom Waits type thing until all the music took over. I liked LC's delivery on that one. I don't think On That Day was all that bad of a song.

That is my opinion of DH. All of it.
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Anne-Marie
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Re: criticisms of "Dear Heather"

Postby Anne-Marie » Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:45 am

MichaelPlater wrote: I do agree that "No More A-Roving" is a bit crap though.
I don't agree at all. Adore that song... good car music!

As for criticism, it isn't like all of Leonard's earlier music got spared. Every album he has made has been too sad, or too synthetic, or talentless, or [insert negativity].
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:59 pm

Hi Anne-Marie,

Good car music? Good car music is an old favourite 60's song (pick your era and favourites). I don't think LC was ever car music. He's more sitting on the floor in the dark with your headphones on music. I've travelled long and far in my car (hey, that rhymed :roll: ) and I sure haven't heard many LC songs in there. Oh! Maybe I should get a CD player in my car. I thought you meant the radio. That's where my car music comes from. :wink: Maybe I'll just get a newer car.

Linda
grant
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Postby grant » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:01 pm

Cohen's music has always been negative, if one can say that without a smirk. Cohen is as "negative" as Melville; as Frost; as Kesey; as any great poet who has not only seen but created objects of those things beyond what we ever will. Ken Kesey once gave the following quote to a professor of mine in the Paris Review (1994),

"That's when you stop taking acid and start taking coke and drinking booze and start trying to fill the hollow with depressants and Valium. Real warriors like William Burroughs or Leonard Cohen or Wallace Stevens examine the hollow as well as anybody; they get in there, look far into the dark, and yet come out with poetry."

Cohen has finally made peace with what Robert Frost once described as, "the tremor of the gridlock." He's more brave than I and most anyone who will read this. That's why we listen to him.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:06 pm

Jerry and Jonnie,

Please don't tell me you're a duo! :wink:

I thought Dylan took crit. for Nashville Skylines, not for it's pared down songs, but for the inclusion of Johnny Cash and the more 'country' direction he seemed to be taking at the time. NS was such a departure from the beloved H61 - but years apart. In retrospect, maybe it wasn't all that many years. However, I think a lot of his fans didn't like the country sound.

Linda.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:16 pm

grant,

Hi. You must've slipped your post in while I was still trying to type mine. Brave. Yes. I couldn't hang out the emotion he has without a valium or two. Leonard has put more out there and up front than many and taken the flak for it. Without apology. It's getting late and I'm very tired so if this post sounds...unreadable...then the time is my excuse.

Good points and a great quote. "the tremor of the gridlock" as well as Kesey's.
grant
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Postby grant » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:35 pm

The late-night posts tend to be incomprehensible, but Cohen would certainly approve of that, if he still abides by the opinion of the self he portrayed in "Ladies and Gentlemen. . .Leonard Cohen." Nonetheless, I sincerely thank you for your comments and only hope that I can do justice to what time unrelentingly assures me is the Divine Len, the Prophet that never was, the great poet who relegated himself to Pop, the Jew who hid his unquenchable desire for a tyranny of his own beneath a, "a mirror dimly."
It matters not what the clock says, for Leonard has always been that creature of the night we fear and pray for.

-Grant
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:15 pm

Hi G(g)rant?

Incomprehensible. I guess that's the word I was trying to spell while you were posting.

It looks like we're in the same time zone (yet I can say with red-faced disgrace that time-zones are not my strong suit). Still, I thank you for your comments (that's about all I can manage right now), I will reread this exchange in the cold and revealing light of day. Just to see if we're on the same page. Hey! It's almost time to get up. I'll reread this in about 2 hours! Make that 4 - I have some things to do first.

Just becaue I'm sounding incompre....doesn't mean I don't mean what I say. :roll: I just reread your post and yes, that too. In the rereading of your post, I forgot what I was going to say. Let's just say, the night-life ain't no good life, but it's my life. That doesn't sound original to me.

Another time,
Linda.

[/i]
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:18 pm

Hold the phone. I know what I was going to say - but it had more to do with Lenny Bruce than Leonard Cohen, so I guess it doesn't count. Later, then.

Linda.
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:51 pm

LC's later albums are pretty radio friendly, and also very good car music. That's my experience.
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linda_lakeside
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Postby linda_lakeside » Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:29 pm

Hi Tom,

I'm stalking you all over the board.

Yes, some of his cuts are radio friendly. However, the longer cuts are my faves and are therefore, not radio friendly.

Usually, we hear Susanne, B on the W., a few others, but the heart and soul of Leonard's music remains on the turntable/CD player, whatever. What I think I'm trying to say is that only a few cuts make it to radio and not for long either.

Here in Canada they're doing a 50 best tracks of Canadian music. In the 1960's era, Susanne was beat by, I don't know, some nitwit songwriter's one hit wonder. The overall opinion of the DJays, at least, seems to be that Hallelujah is the best Cohen song but not his version. Buckley's version. The way things are going now, it doesn't even look like Cohen is going to make it. I'll know more later this aft. and tomorrow. I've only been listening with half and ear, 'cause I already know what I like.

Linda.

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