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|3.0 good||GreenRiver | December 31st 11|
Further Adventures Of, though it may contain Bruce Cockburn's usual mix of beautifully intricate acoustic work and pastoral mysticism, along with the occasional touches of anger and irony, continues the growth that was so evident on his last studio outing In the Falling Dark. And while it may lack anything quite as powerful as "Lord of the Starfields" or the title song from that record, the use of his electric guitar, which is at the forefront on a couple of tracks, brings a bit more of an edge to the proceedings. Lyrically, his odes to God and nature can still at times be as soft as his social relevance can be heavy-handed, but cuts such as the joyful "Rainfall," the bilingual "Pernons La Mer," and the Eastern meditation "Nanzen Ji" get by on their sheer beauty, while "A Montreal Song" and the pensive "Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand" are sharp and effective. The latter, with its lyrical urgency and effected electric guitar, shows a toughness in his songwriting, as well as the direction of his sound, both of which would become even more prevalent in the coming years. Like much of Cockburn's earlier output, Further Adventures Of, though not a major work in his catalog, shows flashes of brilliance among some fairly ordinary material that's distinguished only by his excellent guitar. Beyond this, it serves as another steppingstone to what would be the most impressive period of his career -- including the gorgeous Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws (1979) and his stunning work of the early '80s -- and is worth a listen.
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