perjantai 14. heinäkuuta 2023

Bruce Cockburn - O Sun O Moon

Firstly, england is not my native language. I know, for me this is huge risk, enormous step what i take, try to tell something very specific about this great artist and great album...and mostly without google translate. Let's try.

In my opinion Bruce Cockburn belong to Top Five when we talked about greatest canadian songwriters. Of course Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell are the brightest canadian diamonds, but Bruce might be fourth or fifth . Would you believe that? I believe.

I hope Bruce Cockburn rings some bells in you? If not, there comes a short brief. Cockburn's career spanning over fifty years. First album titled Bruce Cockburn (70) includes mostly harmless folk-tunes with christianity vibe, but Going to the Country is one of the standout tracks and created kind of bridge for stronger songwriting. On the next few albums Bruce found golden grain,  Night Vision (73), Joy Will Find a Way (75) and excellent In the Falling Dark (76) developed further Bruce as a songwriter.

Mid eighties till the early nineties Bruce made undoubtedly his best albums. Stealing Fire (84), World of Wonders (85), Big Circumstance (88) and Nothing but a Burning Light (91) are all fabulous and strong albums. Songs like If I Had Rocket Launcher, Call It Democracy and If a Tree Falls reflects global side of live. Those songs shows up kind of pre-history of future climate change themes and other global crises. 

If i tree falls in a forest, does anybody hear?

One reason why Bruce was so interestes about those themes was part of his charity trips over the world, where he was middle of hot spots during the civil wars and other painful humanity crises.

If I Had a Rocket Launcher, one of his well known song is written  after visiting Guatemalan refugee camps in Mexico that were attacked by Guatemalan military helicopters. You can find out more interesting details Bruce's activism years in his excellent memoir: Rumours of Glory (14).

Previous studioalbum Bone on Bone (17) was quite strong album keeping inside lots of significant songs like State I'm in, 40 Years of Wilderness and lightly rolling french-sung pretty Mon Chemin. Between these albums Bruce also released great instrumental album: Crowing Ignites (19). 

New album O Sun O Moon (23), his 27th, sounds familiar and warm, like Bruce's singing voice which has warm and comforting tone. On his eighties (born-45) Bruce is still On A Roll, like he sung new album's opening track: 

Time takes it's toll, but in my soul, I'm on a roll. 

As the song continues even mortality is just around the corner: 

Finality is hard to bear, continue breathing and beware. 

Next one, also excellent Orders goes even deeper on the humanity: 

The list is long, as i recall. Our orders said to love them all. 

Maybe we can heard old wise man singing, but we also hear rich and nyanced singing voice, which can tell story bare and authentic straight to you. These are one of the four songs which Bruce performed on his net-site's covid-concerts during pandemic.

Album first single Us All, this slow and spiritual (like most of his songs are) song remains me for Joy Will Find A Way, maybe that religious vibe. Colin Went Down To The Water tells a story, either strict or bit of metaphorical, in any case this shows up great song. Push Come To Shove is just a beautiful love song with strong message: 

 I could sail what's left on the seven seas, i could swim with the bears where ice used to be. 

Absolutely big song and theme.

Most touching song come near the end of album. When the Spirit Walks in the Room is great Cockburn-original at his birth. I heard song first time early in the summer on train to Northern Finland. It took inmediatedly place inside of me. 

Manhattan or Dakar, makes no difference where you are. it doesn't matter what you think, or if you smoke or if you drink, you're thread upon the loom, when the spirit walks in the room. 

Message of this song could be obvious and said thousand times, but it contains lot of love and mercy, helping hand for everyone. In this case Bruce on of the greatest, he dare to say bit more that reality allows. It could because of his christianity background, but maybe more because of his long and winding road with lot of experiments how to face another human.

O Sun O Moon is a great album for this 78-years songwiter. I was lucky and get album on vinyl. There found four stunning bonus songs, rarity picks for Cockburns long career.

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