Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker On Polaris Prize 2017 Short List

The Short List for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize has been revealed. The list of 10 nominees has been narrowed down from the Long List, which featured 40 artists. The award goes to the best album by a Canadian artist, released between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. The remaining nominees include:

  • Leonard Cohen: You Want It Darker
  • A Tribe Called Red: We Are the Halluci Nation
  • Gord Downie: Secret Path
  • Feist: Pleasure
  • Lisa Leblanc: Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?
  • Lido Pimienta: La Papessa
  • Tanya Tagaq: Retribution
  • Leif Vollebekk: Twin Solitude
  • Weaves: Weaves

From Pitchfork

Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker On Long List For Polaris Canada’s Album Of The Year

From this list of 40, the same jurors are then asked to pick their top 5, which will comprise the 10 albums on the short list. That will be announced at Toronto’s Carlu on July 13 and the winner of Canada’s best album of the year, at the end of the Polaris Gala on Sept. 18, as decided by an 11-member grand jury behind closed doors.

From Drake, The Weeknd, Carly Rae Jepsen and Leonard Cohen Make Polaris Music Prize Long List by Karen Bliss (Billboard: 13 June 2017). See complete list of 40 artists & albums at link.

“[Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker] is marked by astonishing verbal acuity and a high-def philosophical clarity that coalesces into a kind of metaphysical calligraphy carved in stone by the Old Testament prophet gravitas of his voice”

From Tonite: Like A Bird On A Wire by Jonathan Valania (Phawker: May 18th, 2017). The entire post, partly a review of You Want It Darker and partly a lament on the loss of Leonard Cohen in the time of Trump, is available at the link.

Leonard Cohen On You Want It Darker “I’m a captive, I’ve got no other purpose or mission. This is my message, this is my last message.”

drk800Quoted by Adam Cohen in Leonard Cohen’s son Adam jokes about father while accepting Juno on his behalf by David Friend (CTV News: April 1, 2017)

“For our moment, for our time, Leonard Cohen looked into the deepest abyss of the self and reached back for all of us”


It’s not fun to talk about death. None of us want to consider a world without ourselves, or worse, without someone we love or look up to. That’s alright: you’re not supposed to because you have to get up in the morning and go to work and keep with the grand task of moving forward so that there is a world beyond us, one to inherit one day by someone who you’ll never meet, whose experiences will be so foreign to you that you might not recognize them as being like you. But there is Leonard Cohen. I use the present tense because, even though he has died at age eighty-two, neither we nor him are done with one another. There are hard lessons about aging and dying and living on You Want It Darker that we’re not going to ever be done with until we either cure death or forget Leonard Cohen. At the moment, neither seems likely.quotedown2


From Sound Takes: You Want it Darker by Amish Trivedi (The Rumpus: March 9th, 2017). The entire review is available at the link. Highly recommended.