Bruce Cockburn

CockBurn Anything Anytime
Anywhere: Singles 1979-2002 (True
North) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN

What this 16-song Bruce Cockburn best-of collection underscores — apart from how badly dated his 80s recordings sound — is that the Can-rock social conscience works much more effectively with affairs of the heart than with issue-oriented anthems. Straightforward love songs like The Coldest Night Of The Year and Lovers In A Dangerous Time hold up exceedingly well, whereas stuff like If I Had A Rocket Launcher seems embarrassingly naive. It would be interesting to see what kind of fist-shaking the song would inspire if Cockburn tried performing it now.

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