Music Review

Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and Dear Heather

The latest by Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen

The master of meditative croaking, and one of his most prominent disciples, returns with music imbued with post-9/11 ruefulness. On Dear Heather, the 70-year-old Leonard Cohen still projects like crazy — he's godlike on the spoken-word tracks — but the preponderance of slight songs marks this as a minor effort. Nick Cave's double disc is divided between the jittery gospel of Abattoir Blues and the lyrical, romantic The Lyre of Orpheus. Cave always sounds like he's towing a barge, but he (and Cohen) remains a singular sensation.
Cohen: B-
Cave: A-

Originally posted Oct 29, 2004 Published in issue #790 Oct 29, 2004 Order article reprints