The Phantom Tollbooth – Review: Dear Heather

Spiritual concerns are evident throughout and the album is topped and tailed by questions of love’s stamina to hold out in a world that must weary it beyond measure. In Lord Byron’s “Go No More A Roving” there is suggestion it needs a breather and the penultimate track, “The Faith,” nicked from a Quebec folk song, asks, “Oh love, aren’t you tired yet?” Of course a recent event that must have left love short of breath was 9/11 and Cohen gives it a short reflection leaving a few hints at answers (“Some people say/It’s what we deserve/For sins against g-d/For crimes in the world”) as he asks why. But in the end he is happy to get on with it in the confusion, refusing conclusions (“I wouldn’t know/I’m just holding the fort/Since the day/they wounded New York”)… Like Cohen himself, his music is tailored and tasteful, handsome on the outside and tender of soul within. Earthly pleasure and heavenly desire rarely compliment each other so well. — The Phantom Tollbooth, November 21, 2004