Richard Gehr at Rolling Stone:
Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equaled him as a song poet.
Cohen's haunting bass voice, nylon-stringed guitar patterns and Greek-chorus backing vocals shaped evocative songs that dealt with love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression. He was also the rare artist of his generation to enjoy artistic success into his Eighties, releasing his final album, You Want It Darker, earlier this year.
“I never had the sense that there was an end,” he said in 1992. “That there was a retirement or that there was a jackpot.”
“For many of us, Leonard Cohen was the greatest songwriter of them all,” Nick Cave, who covered Cohen classics like “Avalanche,” “I'm Your Man”and “Suzanne,” said in a statement. “Utterly unique and impossible to imitate no matter how hard we tried. He will be deeply missed by so many.”