Sounds like … the works of Bob Dylan, Mark Heard, T Bone Burnett, Buddy Miller, Derek Webb, Neil Young, and Andrew Osenga, blending folksy pop/rock with some occasionally jazzy touches

At a glance … it's not one of Cockburn's more overtly spiritual efforts, and some will find the politicizing and profanity offensive, but this highly regarded folk songwriter's craft remains strong in quality and beauty

For more than 35 years, Bruce Cockburn has built respect as a songwriter with both Christian and secular audiences, and an influence on artists both veteran and rookie. But while two of his albums were recognized by CCM magazine among the 100 greatest albums in Christian music, he's never exactly been a central player to the genre. That's partly because Cockburn has always been more popular in his native Canada than in Nashville. Historically, he's also been subtler than most Christian artists in communicating faith through song, and his lyrics are typically more edgy in expression and social commentary.

All of that holds true for Life Short Call Now, his 29th album. Yes, he's still a hallmark among Canadian songwriters, but more importantly, Cockburn remains one of the present day's few relevant remnants of folk artists from the '60s. He's never been one to shy away from political topics, and with concerns over the wars in the Middle East, there's plenty of fuel for the fire.

The most blatant examples come in the album's second half. Cockburn angrily—and with one profanity—takes aim at President Bush in "Tell the Universe" for what he considers unjustified use of power and violence: "You've been projecting your sh-- at the world/Self-hatred tarted up as payback time … Tell the world where you've ...

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Life Short Call Now
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4 Stars - Excellent
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Release Date
July 18, 2006
Rounder / Umgd
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