"DEAR HEATHER" PRAISED IN HELSINGIN SANOMAT

Leonard Cohen's recent albums - share your views with others!
Karri
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"DEAR HEATHER" PRAISED IN HELSINGIN SANOMAT

Postby Karri » Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:35 pm

Here´s my translation of the Helsingin Sanomat review. Old news I know but I didn´t get to translate it earlier. Enjoy!

Personally, I don´t like the "staccato" rhythm so often seen in newspaper articles. The writer seems knowledgeable enough, though, in that she mentions Rebecca. As for Nico inspiring "Take This Longing", that was news to me. Leonard´s predilection for the waltz rhythm is a point worth mentioning, too. She seems to have mixed up her albums, though - certainly there´s no trace of Spectorian extravaganza on the LC albums of the 80´s? :?
Karri

Slow and loaded like a last waltz
Leonard Cohen still has a way with words and atmospheres

The unsurpassed soundtrack voice for late nights with red wine is now lower than on any previous record.
The vocal delivery of Leonard Cohen, 70, is closer to reciting than singing - but does it matter? It sure doesn´t.
Some of the songs on Dear Heather rank alongside his best material – no mean feat, as Cohen´s career began almost 40 years ago.
One of those songs is, without a shadow of doubt, Because Of - the aged ladies´ man self-deprecatory account of women who “become naked in their different ways” for him to see – “because of a few songs wherein I spoke of their mystery”.
“Look at me Leonard, look at me one last time”, Anjani Thomas sings sweetly in the background. And no doubt Leonard looks at her – but is it for the last time?
In his lifetime, Leonard has sung about women, undressed them in his songs and touched their lovely bodies, at least with his mind, like he did in Suzanne.
There have been at least two Suzannes in Cohen´s life. Then, of course, there was the Norwegian Marianne (So Long, Marianne), Janis Joplin (Chelsea Hotel #2), Nancy (Seems So Long Ago, Nancy) and Rebecca.
Nico (of Velvet Underground fame) was not in the least turned on by Cohen, but she too inspired a song: Take This Longing.
The next one up is the mysterious Heather. The woman who walks with her “legs all white from the winter” has driven the poet quite crazy. In the end, the old man is only capable of spelling his words, one letter at a time. – A dry, self-deprecatory humour shines through here as well.
In addition to his own material, Cohen sings lyrics by Lord Byron (Go No More A-Roving) and Frank Scott (Villanelle For Our Time) and dedicates songs to significant mentors such as his teacher, writer A.M. Klein (To A Teacher).
In terms of musical impact, the childishly trilling title track falls short of the mournfully beautiful The Letters (featuring Sharon Robinson as both a co-composer and a duet partner), the impressive recital of Morning Glory with its bass and vibraphone backing, and There For You, which can be viewed either as a declaration of love or a kind of cosmology.
On That Day depicts “that day they wounded New York”, leaving the listener with nothing but a weighty question, backed by a jew´s harp.
The poems of Cohen, a Jew by birth, have always been rich in multi-layered mysticism, melancholy and depression. Even after his zen period, they are still there.
In fact, Cohen has changed so little during his career that it´s a bit baffling – even though his approaches to production have varied from his customarily sparse sound to his most pompous Phil Spector period of the 80´s. On this album, the production chores are handled by the female trio of Robinson, Anjani and Leanne Ungar.
There are some traditional elements such as the angelic background vocals as well as certain musical trademarks : the bouzouki and the jew´s harp.
And then, of course, there are the waltzes. For a beat poet, Cohen is exceptionally keen on waltzing, and the triplet swing is present on this album as well. Slow, charged – and devout.

PIRKKO KOTIRINTA
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:03 pm

Yes, Nico inspired Take This Longing, but also she could be "the tallest blondest girl" from memories.

The author mixed up bouzouki and oud also!
Karri
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Postby Karri » Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:10 pm

You´re right about the oud, Tom. I´m ashamed to say I didn´t bat an eyelid when the bouzouki was mentioned... :oops:


Karri
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:16 am

Karri :wink:
It came to my mind later that two songs were written with Nico as inspiration - I think that she is Joan Of Arc also :shock:
Well, with her singing, I really have to find some good picture to see what's all that about her.
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margaret
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Postby margaret » Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:12 am

Tom, there is a photo of Nico on page 85 of Jim Devlin's book "L. C. in his own words"
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tomsakic
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:14 pm

I think I remember that one, but it's nothing spectacular. I need something like TV recording.
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Dec 06, 2004 12:22 pm

Oh, I found her fan site. Well, still I'm not impressed, it must be in her personality. This is the image I liked the best. Among many pictzres on her site, this cover was taken in 1967, so around the time when she was living at the Chelsea Hotel.

Image

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