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May 1994 Articles
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Issue: May 1994

this journeyman's bound
to please

Dart to the Heart (Columbia)
Bruce Cockburn

It's not the laughter of the gloating rich/It's not the laughter of the sacred b——/It's not the laughter of the macho fool/It's not the laughter that obeys the rules/More of a chain saw in a velvet glove/You better listen to the laugh of love/

Take some often complex poetry and harmonically sophisticated music. Mix in some dynamite guitar playing. Then make the industry types edgy by admitting publicly to being a Christian. Make the Christian community uncomfortable by rejecting conservative fundamentalism. Further alienate the "movers and shakers" of the biz by preaching political and economic justice for the citizens of Latin America and indigenous peoples everywhere. Do this for twenty years. Welcome to the world of Bruce Cockburn.

Cockburn has made virtually everyone happy with Dart to the Heart. He's given the record company a T-Bone Burnett produced collection of (mostly) love songs that is radio friendly. "Listen for the Laugh" has even got a horn section and is getting plenty of airplay. He's given his long-time fans some of his best melodies and performances. "All the Ways I Want You" and "Tie Me at the Crossroads" ("move fast, stay cool, keep your eye on the front sight") being two of his best songs ever. He's given the guitar freaks two beautiful acoustic instrumentals. He even conjures up the ghost of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on "Burden of the Angel Beast." Everybody wins with Dart to the Heart. Don't be left out.

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