—Patton Dodd, writing in the blog
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
“Hallelujah” is not, as [contestant Lee]DeWyze conceived it on American Idol, a shout of praise. It is too confused to shout, too self-concerned to praise. Cohen’s song is disturbing stuff. The Buckley version always leaves me reflective and bothered, if aesthetically uplifted. “Hallelujah” manages to be a psalm, a lament, and a paean to romantic ecstasy all at once. And like Psalms, Lamentations, and Song of Songs, it manages to do so while drawing on the rich and messy personal histories of the Bible’s most notables. That’s the hard-fought lyrical production that has sustained the song, and that will—of course—make it outlast Idol.