Legendary singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn is back with Bone on Bone, his first album since 2011 and it’s a cracker!
True to its name, the new album is a stripped down affair whereupon Cockburn focuses on finely honed country-folk-blues as artistic expression.
So it’s rustic and pastoral, visceral and down home comfortable and Cockburn is in his element, delivering a brilliant work that is well worth the six year wait.
On songs like the bluesy “Cafe Society”, Cockburn’s biting social commentary remains intact – “Flapping lips of flatulence bellow ‘vote for ME’/Everything is spinning in the looming entropy”.
Elsewhere, Cockburn’s displays his keen sense of observation on “False River” – “In a jeweller’s
armoured window/You can just cast your eyes on
a diamond-crusted pendant in the shape of Bart Simpson/Through mirrored cops in armour and the drift of gas clouds/Drones the size of horseflies scrutinising the crowds”
The Christian mystical side of Cockburn rears its head in what is probably our favourite track – “Jesus Train” – “Standing on the platform awed by the power/I feel the fire of love feel the hand upon my shoulder saying ‘brother climb aboard'”
Everything that a disciple of Bruce Cockburn would want from a new album is accounted for on Bone on Bone, included the title track which is an accomplished instrumental number.
All told, one of the albums of the year. Essential listening, PoP faithful!
… still there’s more …