Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance
Final Leonard Cohen Studio Album Completed by His Son to Fulfill His Father's Wishes: Thanks for the Dance Vinyl LP Features Members of The National and Arcade Fire
At the end, the last dance is truly saved for Leonard Cohen. Before he passed away in 2016, the man with the golden voice asked his son, Adam, to bring to fruition an album the singer had mostly completed. Fulfilling his father's wishes, the younger Cohen recruited members of the National and Arcade Fire, along with various orchestras and choirs, to finish the poet's final work. Produced by Adam, and engineered and mixed by Michael Chaves, Thanks for the Dance is not a commemorative collection of B sides and outtakes, but an unexpected harvest of nine new songs: exciting and vital, a continuation of the Cohen's legacy.
This remarkable new album was made in many places. Javier Mas, the great Spanish laud player who accompanied Leonard on stage for the last eight years of touring, flew from Barcelona to Los Angeles to capture the artist's spirit on Leonard's own guitar. In Berlin, at a musical event called People Festival, Adam invited friends and comrades to lend their ears and talents. Damien Rice and Leslie Feist sang. Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire played bass. Bryce Dessner of The National played guitar, the composer Dustin O'Halloran played piano. The Berlin-based choir Cantus Domus sang, and the s t a r g a z e orchestra played.
In Montreal the famed producer Daniel Lanois dropped in, beautifully enriching sparse arrangements. The Shaar Hashomayim choir, who played such important part of the sound of the last album, contributed to a song, and Patrick Watson brought his inimitable talent as co-producer to a song. Back in Los Angeles Jennifer Warnes, one of the keepers of Leonard's flame, sang background vocals, and Beck contributed on guitar and Jew's harp. Michael Chaves, who elegantly recorded and mixed You Want It Darker, did the engineering and mixing.
And so was born Thanks For The Dance, a brand new Leonard Cohen album that uncannily recalls the essence of his sound. "In composing and arranging the music for his words, we chose his most characteristic musical signatures, in this way keeping him with us," said Adam. "What moves me most about the album is the startled response of those who have heard it. ‘Leonard lives'! they say, one after the other." Thanks for the Dance is an unexpected blessing, a gift of beauty and strength. Leonard Cohen's voice has not been stilled. The dance goes on.