Nepal | July 03, 2020

Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album centres on poetry

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Share Now:

Leonard Cohen, “Thanks for the Dance” (Columbia/Legacy Recordings)

Leonard Cohen’s last album, released just weeks before he passed in 2016, was “You Want It Darker,” which had a sense of finality that made it a fine conclusion to his brilliant musical career.

“Thanks for the Dance,” on the other hand, seems to bring down the curtain on Cohen’s parallel universe, the poetry he started to publish long before he began making records.

Illustrating the point, the new nine-track set is more like a Cohen spoken-word performance with very good and empathetic musical backing, most of it composed by his son, Adam.

Understated exceptions are the title track and a few lines here and there, but Cohen doesn’t really sing, not that his resonant voice needs a melody to convey the experience, depth, humour, horror and beauty of his lyrics.

Expanding on recordings made mostly at the same time as the sessions for “You Want It Darker,” Adam Cohen and engineer/mixer Michael Chaves searched out some of the master’s previous collaborators and some new ones to complete the compositions. Among them are Sharon Robinson, Jennifer Warnes, the Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue Choir, Beck, Daniel Lanois, Feist, Javier Mas, Zac Rae, Patrick Leonard and Anjani Thomas.

“Happens to the Heart” opens the album with haunting guitar, laud and piano supporting Cohen’s listing of a life’s worth of experiences, the gentle accompaniment from Andre de Ridder’s stargaze orchestra making the lines even more effective — “I was always working steady/But I never called it art.”

The title track could be a sequel to “Take This Waltz,” a 1980s song with lyrics Cohen adapted from a poem by Federico García Lorca. Here the themes appear to be more personal but just as inspired.

Other highlights include the subtle flamenco airs of “The Night of Santiago,” the dark-as-night and terrifying “Puppets” and closer “Listen to the Hummingbird,” a short but wise and emotional epilogue.

“Thanks for the Dance” is like discovering a box of old letters — or in this case, poems — from a departed loved one. It’s an emotional experience that allows Cohen’s great talents to be appreciated again.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Isolation wards, quarantine centres lying empty in Manang

MANANG: Temporary quarantines and isolation centres established for accommodating persons suspected of COVID-19 and those testing positive for the infection are lying empty in Manang. These centres have remained empty ever since the only infected person, a 57-year-old man, returned home after a c Read More...

Altitude Air felicitates NAC board member Sherpa

KATHMANDU: Altitude Air today felicitated its board chairperson Phurba Gyalzen Sherpa on his appointment as the board director of Nepal Airlines Corporation. According to a statement issued by Altitude Air, board directors including company’s Managing Director Nima Nuru Sherpa and other staff m Read More...

Health Minister says 'Enough is Enough' campaign justifiable

KATHMANDU: Activists of 'Enough is Enough' campaign today held a discussion with the Minister of Health and Population, Bhanubhakta Dhakal, to draw the government's attention towards the demands put forth by the campaigners. They have insisted that the government take the demands seriously and ac Read More...

Nepal's Covid-19 tally hits 14,519 as 473 new cases surface on Thursday

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population has recorded 473 new cases of the coronavirus infection on Thursday taking the country’s total infection count to 14,519. Of the newly infected, 364 are males and 109 females. In total, 12,636 males and 1,883 females have contracted the disease. Read More...

Kathmandu reports big jump in number of daily cases, Valley's COVID-19 tally hits 154

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu valley's coronavirus-infection tally has been on a gradual rise since the daily case figures entered double-digits for the first time on Tuesday. The valley reported 32 cases in the last 24 hours, making it the highest single-day case count, yet. Of the newly detected cases, Read More...

Abrupt prorogation of House unfortunate: Nepali Congress

KATHMANDU: In the wake of recent political developments, main opposition party Nepali Congress has said that it is seriously observing the sudden decision forwarded by the government to end the ongoing Parliamentary session. 'The move made by the government to abruptly end the session without pri Read More...

Coronavirus , vaccines, vaccines trails

Brazil to test Sinovac's potential vaccine against COVID-19 in six states

SAO PAULO: A potential coronavirus vaccine developed by China's Sinovac will be tested in Brazil by 12 research centers in six Brazilian states, the governor of Sao Paulo state, Joao Doria, said on Wednesday, adding the trials still need to be approved by local health vigilance agency Anvisa. T Read More...

Sudurpaschim yet to discuss budget as opposition continues obstruction

DHANGADHI: Sudurpaschim Province has not been able to hold any discussion on budget even after unveiling it more than two weeks ago. The deliberation on budget could not proceed even after 17 days since the parties in opposition have been obstructing the Provincial Assembly meeting. Main oppositi Read More...