Thanks for the Dance: Leonard Cohen Album Review

Written by on December 5, 2019

By Andre Souza

Before his death in 2016, Leonard Cohen left his son instructions to finish writing the songs that they had begun writing together. Using vocal recordings his father made, Adam Cohen created the 2019 album entitled, Thanks for the Dance, under his father’s name. The album is a collection of stories that Adam Cohen believed made his father the man he was, and the result is a beautifully written and produced that fans of Leonard Cohen’s previous works can easily fall in love with.

            The instrumentals from the first song to the last perfectly emulate the classic french style of guitar that Cohen worked so hard to master. The desolate yet smoothly romantic lyrics sang through the deep and haunting vocals make the album what it truly is: A 30-minute album of emotion and art.

            At times, the album misses some of the traditional aspects of Cohen’s previous songs that made them so popular, to begin with. The variations in his early works between French folk music and modern rock do not make their way into this album as clearly, however, it is completely made up for in the imagery and truth behind his lyrics.

            Highlight tracks like “Happens to the Heart,” his tragic thesis of life, and the triumphant “The Hills,” give the listener a sense of the immense passion that Leonard Cohen had for music and the pursuit of existential knowledge. Though his life long project “Happens to the Heart” was never officially completed by Cohen, the singer’s take on the meaning of life is evidence of his obsession with poetry and rhetoric.

            To summarize, the album serves as an effective ode to the legacy that Leonard Cohen left behind. It may be argued that the album often overcompensates for the fact that it is meant to honor Cohen, however, the songs have established themselves as the closure that fans never knew they needed.