Gordon Lightfoot Album Reviews

by Noel Coppage - Stereo Review
Recording Of Special Merit
Performance: Excellant
Recording: Excellent

        Gordon Lightfoot seems fascinated with summertime; the word "summer" appears over and over again in his album and song titles and in his lyrics, and the slow, aimless images of summer are often clearly evoked by his relaxed singing style and country-flavoured melodies.  This may be a natural fascination for a veteran of Canadian winters - after spending a few winters in New England, I'm rather taken with summer myself - or it may be merely a case of knowing oneself. Lightfoot has a summery kind of voice, and writes a summery kind of song.  "Cabaret" for example, suggests a background of fleecy white clouds and heat shimmering over the blacktop with its lyrics about thumbing down the highway.
        Lightfoot's gentleness is always welcome, in any case, and this album is up to his normal high standard.  The arrangements are tasteful, for no unnecessary instrumental showmanship is allowed even though the list of musicians is impressive.  Acoustic guitars are the most important backing instruments, although there are, at various times, horns, strings, voices, and even a fiddle and a dobro in "Redwood Hill".  All the songs are good, but none is excellant.  The understated appeal of "Talking In Your Sleep", which disc jockeys understandably appreciated during the long hot summer, is typical of the whole album.  There are no super-songs here, but there is the pleasant evocation of the constancy of sunny days you thought would never end.