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New Bruce Cockburn album: "You've Never Seen Everything"

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New Bruce Cockburn album: "You've Never Seen Everything"

Old 06-12-03, 04:41 PM
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New Bruce Cockburn album: "You've Never Seen Everything"

I haven't listened to it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. Here's a review from the Toronto Star:

Greg Quill, Toronto Star

If you've been thinking the recent stream of repackaged past product is an indicator that Cockburn's best work is behind him, You've Never Seen Everything (True North) will set things right. The Canadian singer-poet-guitarist's first studio album in four years is a killer, nothing short of a tour-de-force by an artist very much at the top of his game and with a great deal to say, not much of it particularly pleasant.

The opener, "Tried And Tested" a mechanized drum loop provides the industrial-strength bed for a hypnotic, repetitive guitar lick and an acid torrent of complaint about a world gone awry sets the tone. "All Our Dark Tomorrows," the jazz fugue "Trickle Down" and the title cut, a lengthy howl of despair punctuated by a chorus so melodic, so wistfully sentimental that it's hard to believe it's Cockburn, never an artist given to such elaborate and expansive musical expressions, who committed it to disc.

Produced by Cockburn and labelmate Colin Linden, and assisted by Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Sarah Harmer and Sam Phillips on several pieces, You've Never Seen Everything takes some of its musical leads from recent experiments the British band A3 comes to mind in blending folk forms and acoustic instruments with industrial drum-machine loops and added percussion.

Elsewhere, Cockburn exercises considerable folk ("Open", "Don't Forget About Delight"), jazz ("Everywhere Dance") and rock ("Put It In Your Heart") muscles, and makes a couple of sidetracks into more exotic territory Asian gamelan forms on "Postcards From Cambodia," and country music on "Celestial Horses," a romantic ballad worthy of a prominent place in the repertoire, though Cockburn and Linden cleverly steer clear of steel guitars and high, lonesome harmonies in favour of an earnest, plaintive vocal and simple, single-note synthesizer accompaniment.

It's Cockburn's honest voice, sensibilities and guitar work ("Wait No More" and "Messenger Wind" will have adoring pickers working their fingers to the bone trying to emulate his magic patterns) that drive this album, a state-of-the union address from an artist whose romantic heart still glows on the horizon of a souring world view. A stunning contribution.
Old 06-13-03, 06:16 AM
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you said 'Cockburn'..... ouch...

Old 06-13-03, 08:49 AM
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It's pronounced Co-burn.

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