Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews

By Kerry Dexter

       The voice is a bit rougher, but the unmistakable phrasing is there. The perspective has changed, but the ability to join words and music with distinctive insight hasn't. It's been five years since Lightfoot's last album. The 10 songs here, two covers and eight originals, are very autobiographical, Lightfoot says. "It's sort of the way I see myself now or could see myself for quite a few years to come. I turn 60 this year. I've settled down now and I'm in this wonderful position of being able to make my own albums and as usual, the songs on this album paint pictures.

That may account for the reflective stance of several pieces: for example, I Used To Be A Country Singer, in which a conversation with a chambermaid turns into a study of past hopes and dreams, and On Yonge Street, an acute observation of "a street in my hometown" that is a highway of the world.

Especially effective are Ringneck Loon, with Lightfoot using his keen eye for nature to parallel and illuminate the business of a man holding a job, and Lightfoot's cover of Ian Tyson's Red Velvet. On this disc Lightfoot offers a group of songs that mark a distinct stage in his creative journey that will stand with the best of his earlier work.