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You've Never Seen Everything


Andrew
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I'm glad to see a music section open up here. I've been very eager to open up a discussion on Bruce Cockburn, among others. (Hopefully, this wasn't done to death on the music-only forum in its earlier incarnation).

FWIW, I've been very impressed with his newest, "You've Never Seen Everything." Listening to it again today, I was struck by the natural progression of the songs, from 'Tried and Tested' and the upbeat 'Open,' into a darker middle section, then closing with the hope of 'Messenger Wind' and the admonishment, 'Don't Forget About Delight.'

There also seems to be a maturing of his social commentary: whereas in his earlier 'Call It Democracy,' he was speaking of rage as a 'necessity,' he now sees that the pain of Cambodia, among other places, is too big for rage or any other finite human emotion, leading to a humble prayer to God.

Lastly, I love his experimentation with a variety of musical forms and sounds, whether it's the hiphop of the opening track, the jazzy sound of 'Trickle Down,' Asian instrumentation, dissonant modern classical sounds, or even African frogs.

BC has definitely challenged my perspective on social justice, since I happened across his greatest hits collection at a local Barnes and Noble about a year ago. So, anyway, I'd love to hear other folks' impressions of his latest release.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for this positive review. I have most of Cockburn's stuff and love it, but the last CD didn't do much for me, so I've delayed ordering You've Never Seen Everything. I'll get right on that and let you know what I think as soon as I hear it.

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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I'll be eager to hear your impressions, Beth.

That's a terrific review, Jeffrey. FWIW, my interpretation of "Open" is a bit different than yours - I assumed this was more about longing for human love, which made it a nice bookend for the later "Wait No More," which seemed clearly to be about longing for God's kingdom to come, in his own heart and in the world. I agree with you completely about the title track -- the gruesome story-telling contained therein seems jarringly out of sync with the rest of the album.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 1 month later...

Hope this works!.. my first post on this site:

Just to say as a long time Cockburn fan - it's a great album, though it's harder to listen to than some. The lyrics are very challenging.

I run an experimental worship service on Friday nights at which we try to use lots of video and audio input, while trying to avoid being "cool" for the wrong reasons.

Last week we used the title track from "You've never seen.." with the lyrics projected. It was mind-blowing and very very heavy, very very challenging. We had to have some silence for a while afterwards.

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Welcome, Derek:

Glad to have you here. I can't say I'm a longtime Cockburn fan -- I picked up his 'Anything Anytime Anywhere' a year or so ago, was very moved, and have been picking up an occasional CD since then (also have tickets for an upcoming concert in October - woohoo!).

That's a bold move, using the title track for a service -- I've only recently appreciated it, feeling able to move beyond the intensity of its storytelling to the underlying message.

His newest album hasn't gone far from my car's CD player this summer, and has been a source of inspiration for me through a difficult couple of months. I appreciate Cockburn's unflinching honesty about the condition of the world, but find that overall, "You've Never Seen Everything" is a very hopeful album.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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