QUICKSPINS: Leonard Cohen – Thanks for the Dance

Leonard Cohen – Thanks for the Dance

Three years after Cohen’s passing, his son Adam salvages the remains of the You Want it Darker sessions and delivers a worthwhile addition to the Cohen canon

Three years ago, 19 days prior to his passing, Leonard Cohen said goodbye to the world on what would be his final album, You Want It Darker. He was battling cancer when recording the LP and knew his time was limited. The album served as a dark, haunting and beautiful farewell from the prolific Montreal poet.

On Thanks for the Dance, Cohen’s son Adam has lovingly assembled the remains of the Darker sessions and crafted a worthwhile follow-up to his father’s final album. It might not be as focused or cohesive as its predecessor, but every song on this album feels complete and fully fleshed out. It’s clear that this isn’t some greedy estate or label looking to capitalize on Cohen’s passing – this is a son lovingly assembling the remnants of his father’s work to create one last album.

There are many standout moments on this album. Songs like “It’s Torn” and “The Goal” are Cohen’s gorgeous, ominous reflections on mortality. “The Night of Santiago” strongly displays his penchant for poetic storytelling, over lush, layered instrumentation. It’s moments like these that make this album feel like such a gift.

Thanks for the Dance is an excellently assembled posthumous release. You can sense the love and care that Adam put into gathering and completing his father’s final recordings for this project. While it lacks in some areas compared to Cohen’s previous release, it still houses some phenomenal moments and is a wonderful and worthwhile addition to the Cohen canon.


Trial Track: “The Night of Santiago”

Star Bar:
“Come gather the pieces
All scattered and lost
The lie in what’s holy
The light in what’s not”
(Cohen on “It’s Torn”)

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