19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Mysticism for the people, 27 Oct. 2004
Leonard Cohen knows a thing or two about God, not the god of beliefs and dogmas (although I wager LC knows about that too), but the god of the heart, the one which is revealed only through that process of attrition which life seems to present us with over and over again. This album points another shining path towards that truth. Dear Heather joins Ten New Songs as a beacon for everyday mystics trying to make sense of the world. Cohen sings of his heart 'the shape of a begging bowl'. In 'Morning Glory' he dialogues with himself, yearning for the 'transcendental moment' which finally comes 'Oh the morning glory! Oh the morning glory! Oh the morning glory!'. And as always he always reminds us that this is not a saccharine sentimental state, but one hard won 'From the bitter searching of the heart' (taking poetry of Frank Scott here). And he reminds of the sacrifice of ego needed on the path 'It was never me, It was always you' he sings on There for You, a blissful collaboration with Sharon Robinson.
Well, musically I can not say a lot about the album as it is the lyrics which matter to me. Other people will review the musicality better than I can. But I like it. It soothes me. There is an incredible beauty to the melding of the women's voices and style with Cohen's. Would it be going too far to wonder if this represents some sort of resolution of Cohen's own perplexity around the interraction of men and women? There is certainly a tenderness and harmoniousness which although begun on Ten New Songs seems to be taken further in this album.
There are tender love songs here too, more obviously about an earthy beloved than a divine one (although the catagories merge with Cohen, always). As with Ten New Songs the poetry of the songs on this album works on the heart at a level which is not cognitive. It is much more subtle.
This album is a winner for Cohen fans, naturally. If you have not heard Cohen before, but like poetry, buy this. If you have not heard Cohen before but are on a spiritual path, buy this.
Thank you Leonard, for more sublime, heartfilling moments.