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Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus

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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 ā€” he’s godlike on the spoken-word tracks ā€” 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-