Liner Notes: Feeling gloomy? Cohen’s your man

  • By Andy Rathbun, Herald Writer
  • Friday, April 3, 2009 10:27pm
  • Life

WHY CARE: Leonard Cohen, the 74-year-old singer-songwriter, released “Live in London” on Tuesday.

TRIVIA: Cohen was born in 1934, a year before Elvis Presley. Unlike Presley, he plans to play Seattle’s WaMu Theater on April 23.

STANDOUT: Let’s just go with “Everybody Knows,” with its grim, timely lyrics: “Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied.”

FANS DIG: French cafes

ANDY SAYS: Doomsayers never go out of style. In good times, they sound amusing, and in bad, prescient. So it’s really no shock that Cohen entertains. During this 2½-hour set recorded in 2008, he plays many of his best songs, pulling from throughout a 41-year career. He sings somberly, sprinkles in wry banter, and gets bubbly backing aid from vocalists Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters.

GRADE: A-minus

“Two Suns,” Bat for Lashes

WHY CARE: Bat for Lashes returns on Tuesday with “Two Suns,” the follow-up to her Mercury Prize-nominated debut, “Fur and Gold.”

TRIVIA: Bat for Lashes is the pseudonym used by Natasha Khan, a former nursery school teacher.

STANDOUT: “Daniel,” with its driving beat, is the closest Khan comes to writing a pop song.

FANS DIG: Nighttime

ANDY SAYS: Khan uses her dark, low voice to sing dark, low songs. Her new album, at times reminiscent of Bjork and Fiona Apple, isn’t bad. However, it’s not as stunning as it feels like it wants to be. The dreamy songs often fade into the background.


Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455,

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