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Life Short Call Now

Bruce Cockburn Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 11.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Street Date: January 15, 2002

"The whole point of writing songs is to share experiences with people," says Bruce Cockburn, looking back on a career that includes 26 albums, numerous international awards, including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Tenco Award for Lifetime Achievement in Italy, 20 gold and platinum records in Canada, and countless concert performances ... Read more in Amazon's Bruce Cockburn Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Nov 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: True North Records
  • ASIN: B000G1S1B8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,833 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Life Short Call Now 5:330.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. See You Tomorrow 4:200.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Mystery 5:510.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Beautiful Creatures 5:110.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Peace March 3:330.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Slow Down Fast 3:410.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Tell The Universe 5:150.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. This Is Baghdad 6:210.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Jerusalem Poker 5:340.69  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Different When It Comes To You 2:570.69  Buy MP3 
Listen11. To Fit In My Heart 6:060.69  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Nude Descending A Staircase 4:230.69  Buy MP3 


Product Description

Product Description

Bruce Cockburn delivers another set of poignant and atmospheric songs. In fact, 'Life Short Call Now' reinforces the notion that the acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter has hit a 21st-century stride - outshining almost anything he's recorded since the 1980s As revealed on the deft, lilting "See You Tomorrow" (featuring Ani DiFranco) and the upbeat, folk-tinged "Different When It Comes to You." The latter song stands in notable contrast to the spare "Beautiful Creatures," a dreamy track that evokes the thought of Peter Gabriel singing a Nick Drake tune. On this admirably strong latter-day outing, Cockburn reminds listeners that he's still a vital performer even three decades into his career.

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Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars veteran canuck on top form 17 Aug 2006
By JManley
Format:Audio CD
British popular music listeners have become less and less surprised in recent years by the quantity of good music coming out of Canada. The World Historical Importance of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young has long been recognised, but the success of bands like Arcade Fire and (to a lesser extent) The Dears, Black Mountain and Hidden Cameras, among others, has for the first time made the Great White North slightly cool. In Britain, Bruce Cockburn stands somewhere behind and between the superstars and the trendsetters; though he sells out major halls throughout North America, his following here is of a "cult" character (a couple of years ago he did a tour of VERY small venues). Life Short Call Now is among the best of his recent work, and if his local representatives get behind it, it could well win him the much wider UK audience he deserves. Beautifully produced, it showcases his major qualities as a virtuoso guitarist, intelligent songwriter, and pretty decent singer. As usual it mixes songs of religious and political commitment (he's a left-wing Christian, critical of the American-British folly in Iraq) and songs about personal relationships, all equally well observed. On first listening, I prefer the slow ones to the fast ones and my favourite is the regret-sodden, slightly abstract Beautiful Creatures. Though I gave it four stars, it's really a four-and-a-half.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quality 23 Feb 2011
By Joe Joe
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My favourite Bruce Cockburn is the late eighties, early nineties stuff. This album, though is quite nice and I would recommend it because of the track "Different When It Comes to You" - one of the best tracks he has ever written. A dream of a song.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Bad.......But Bruce Has Set Very High Standards 2 Nov 2006
By G. Ratcheson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm on my second listen as I write this. To be honest, I'm more moved to write because of some of the reviews here then from listening.

I discovered Bruce's music in the mid 70's. I own all 26 of Bruce's cd's + 2 of the best of packages, I think I qualify as a long time fan! Here's my Bruce bias: I strongly prefer his first albums from 1970 - 1984; in my opinion his last GREAT album was Inner City Front. My absolute favorites are Circles In The Stream, In The Falling Dark, Further Adventures, Inner City Front and Salt Sea & Time; but I really love all of his first 12 albums. I enjoy Dancing In the Dragon's Jaws; but to me the only milestone aspect of that album was that it was in a completely new style, not that it was better then what came before (it wasn't).

After Inner City Front, I still really connected with some of the songs from Trouble With Normal (the title track) & Stealing Fire (Rocket Launcher & Lovers In A Dangerous Time). The last song that deeply touched me was Child Of The Wind from Nothing But A Burning Light. 2 songs from this new cd seem equally special: Life's Short Call Now & Beautiful Creatures. Part of my disconnect was from Bruce's addition of World Music flavors, which for whatever reason doesn't tend to connect for me. I'm personally glad that he's largely abandoned the World Music/Latin flavor on this cd.

For me all the albums after Trouble With Normal are ok, but not up to his previous standards. With that said, my current feeling is that Life Short is at least as good as anything Bruce has done post 1984 & is a very nice artistic statement. To make a generalization, I've found most pop/rock/folk artists seem to make their strongest & most emotional statements when they're young; I think part of the aging process for many of us is less intense emotions, & as a former professional musician myself I believe that feeling is at least 1/2 the battle. This doesn't seem AS true to me in jazz & classical music as it does in pop/rock. (That is NOT meant as a criticism of either form.)

At the moment I'm really enjoying the title track, To The Universe, Beautiful Creatures & the instrumentals (which remind me a lot of In The Falling Dark). In fact referencing the reviewers who complained about the instrumentals, Bruce has had several on most of his albums. He's one of the best acoustic guitarists on the planet & I always find these enjoyable.

One other comment to the person who complained that the cd wasn't "Christian" enough; Bruce has NEVER labeled himself as a Christian artist. Yes, he has made it very clear in both his music & in interviews that Christianity is his religion of choice & that he is a very spiritual person; but "Contemporary Christian" mainstream he is not & has never pretended to be. That comment irritated me more then any of the other reviews here. One of the things that I have always loved about Bruce's music is that it is deeply spiritual & loving WITHOUT preaching religious dogma.

To sum up, I think this is an enjoyable cd & as good as anything he's done since the mid 1980's; it also may grow on me (while writing this I'm now on my 3rd listen!). On the other hand, if you want to see why some of us are fanatical about BC, check out his earlier recordings. If your preferences lean more towards rock I suggest Further Adventures of, Inner City Front, Humans or possibly Dancing; if your preferences lean towards acoustic/folk I suggest any of his first 8 with the live Circles a very good place to start. The Mid 80's Canadian only 2 cd edition of Waiting For A Miracle is also a great starting point for people new to BC, & has a few exclusive tracks.

A few days after writing this, I saw Bruce live. A couple comments: while it didn't become apparent until seeing the show, Bruce seems to be currently experimenting with a musical version of 1920's expressionism on this & the previous You've Never Seen Everything. And believe me, the vocal on Beautiful Creatures is not a sign of losing his voice, but rather a very intentional & powerful effect. This cd makes a lot more sense after seeing the tour. I'm not going to do a full concert review, but the short version is the new material really worked, the arrangements on the older material (80's & 90's) tended to be weak, & he really needed a bass player (the touring band is a trio with a drummer & keyboard player Julie Wolfe).
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sneaky Little Thing 21 July 2006
By LBR Lucas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Both my husband and I thought, "well, that was nice enough" as we finished this album for the first time. But Hubby said, "Let's hear it again." We caught more--heard more--the second time around. And like the teenagers we once were, we've played it over and over again since.
Some of the songs seemed a little simple at first, but I caught one of my kids humming "Mystery" while he was playing today. That simple melody is an infectious one. And throughout the album there is no shortage of invention with the intervals and the harmonies.
Some of the lyrics may seem less than profound, but as soon as you get complacent you'll come upon a phrase in which Cockburn has braided mere words into beautiful lines that will trip you up and send you falling into wonder. How does he think of this stuff?
This not an album to judge in a hurry. Take Cockburn's advice, slow down fast. Let "Life Short Call Now" be what it is.
48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's No Mystery: Life's Short. Enjoy Bruce's Newest NOW. 20 July 2006
By Oliasdoug - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Hallelujah, people...Bruce is back. Had this one on advance order from the Amazonians and when it arrived the day before yesterday, I couldn't stop playing it. And I still can't. Those new to Bruce's music (and being of open, mature minds), as well as those of us who've been with him on his wonderfully unique joyride ever since 1970 will be taken in and held enthralled by this, his newest masterpiece. And WHAT a joyride this new CD is, my gentle snowflakes. Bruce previewed a few of the songs from LIFE SHORT CALL NOW on his American tour last fall ("Mystery," "Tell the Universe" and "This Is Baghdad"), which only served to whet our appetites for this new collection of gems in the wake of his breathtaking collection of instrumental pieces, SPEECHLESS.

When it comes to originality, bold experimentation, virtuoso guitar-picking, dulcet baritone vocals, and lyrics that embrace the entire spectrum of human experience, Bruce has many contemporaries but no equal. He is, quite simply, one of the most unique musical creations in existence...not perfect, but as close to it as an artiste verite' can be at our current stage of evolution. While you can put any of his CDs into your player, hear him sing and immediately recognize him, it can also be said that when he gives us a new recording, you can never genuinely know what to expect until the songs begin & are underway. LSCN is no exception. His most recent CD of vocal songs, YOU'VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING [2003], was nothing short of astounding, as most Cockburn fanatics like me will attest. LSCN is anything BUT a repeat performance of that record, though...and it's sad that so many "musicians" these days choose to tread the same formulaic paths that garnered them their success in the first place, probably out of fear of rejection and consequent failure. Bruce does not subscribe to that school of thought; he follows in the same "many roads lead to one place" philosophy as other musical luminaries like David Bowie, Brian Eno, and fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.

The CD was released only a few days ago and as such the full weight of the songs have yet to fully sink in, but my initial impression is there's not a bad one to be found. When I noticed in the liner notes that he was employing brass and a string section on some tracks, I have to admit that I cringed inwardly a little...a little part of me wondered--just wondered--if the now over-60 Bruce Cockburn might be leaning toward...sellout? (***collective gasp from all Cockburn fans***) I should have known that he would never do that. In fact, when hearing the string accompaniment on certain tracks, I was happily reminded of the true glory days of one Elton John, circa 1970-1972, when his songs were brightly, emotionally colored with the brilliant and heart-tugging orchestrations of the multi-talented Paul Buckmaster. So yeah...the strings work, folks, as do the horns. No worries.

Having had only a few days to pore over these fantastic new tracks, I can say this much with certainty: I DO believe LSCN will leave its indelible mark on Cockburn fans around the world. Here's what I can share with you at this early juncture: First of all, for those who loved SPEECHLESS, we're treated to 3 very glowing instrumental pieces here: "Peace March," a spirited, uptempo acoustic number with a freight-train shuffle beat that just makes you want to smile; "Jerusalem Poker," a slower-paced composition with a percussion backing reminiscent of the Genesis track "Mama," of all things (!), and the closing instrumental, "Nude Descending A Staircase," wherein Bruce's fondness for experimentation almost (but not quite) goes over the top. I don't want to spoil it for you guys--you need to hear this one for yourself--but let's just say that the song starts and closes with what sounds like an old AM radio dial being turned slowly, almost like some of the borrowed sound effects from Kraftwerk's RADIO ACTIVITY album. (Have I piqued your curiosity? I hope so!) Two others I must mention that stand out: The shortest track on the disc (2:57) is what I believe will be his newest single, "Different When It Comes to You." This is one of those songs that could win him a whole new legion of fans, in the same vein as radio-friendly tracks like "Wondering Where the Lions Are," "Lovers In a Dangerous Time," and "If A Tree Falls." Just delightful from start to finish. And for me, the best track on the disc: The unbelievably beautiful ballad "To Fit In My Heart." For this particular Bruce fan, I rank that song right up there with his most emotionally devastating tracks like "Man of a Thousand Faces/Spring Song," "Can I Go With You?," "Pangs Of Love," "You Get Bigger As You Go" and "The Strong One." Check it out and see if you don't agree. And lest you think Bruce has doffed his politically-outspoken cloak, look no further than "This Is Baghdad," "See You Tomorrow," and especially the in-your-face "Tell the Universe." It's quite obvious his recent visit to Iraq left impressions on him as haunting as his Central American experiences of the mid-1980's.

Bruce is currently on tour supporting LSCN, and of course yours truly here has his ticket to see him at Kansas City's Grand Emporium on August 20th. This will be my 3rd time seeing him since his 2003 YOU'VE NEVER SEEN EVERYTHING tour, and let me remind those of you who've not yet had the good fortune to see this fine gentleman onstage: You mustn't allow yourselves to pass up the opportunity of a lifetime. Bruce's concerts are legendary for their overall quality. They're like the world's finest buffets--you get your money's worth many times over and never leave "hungry." And this bears repeating, too: Bruce likes meeting his fans after the shows. After 36 years in the music business and a string of internationally-successful recordings, he still values the people who go to the time and expense of coming to see him perform. Would that ALL famous musicians felt that way.

So let's close with Bruce's own words, a salute to the new generation of true music lovers as well as us old baby-boomer hippies: "Come all you stumblers who believe love rules/Stand up and let it shine!" It seems to me that with each successive release, Bruce Cockburn shows his unflinching love for music and life in dangerous times, and LIFE SHORT CALL NOW is the biggest hug he's given us so far.

Postscript, August 14, 2006: OK, I need to speak up in defense of Bruce in the wake of some "criticisms" being levelled against this CD. I'm astounded at some of the vitriolic comments coming from people who claim to be long-time fans and yet seem to be astonishingly closed-minded in the same breath. While, as I've stated, I try to allow others the dignity of their own opinions, I'm compelled to make the following statements. Point: I'm not one who thinks everything Bruce has done is brilliant. There are CDs of his (which, out of respect for him, shall remain nameless) that I choose not to listen to much, because I feel they were recorded during times when his creative juices were running low. Virtually every recording artist in existence has gone through such phases. Point: "Beautiful Creatures" is one of the most beautiful songs Bruce has ever recorded, and his high singing during the chorus doesn't offend me in the least. While it was a bit of a shock hearing it for the first time, ultimately, it portrayed for me the very sound of the human race weeping at the untimely, unfair and unnecessary extinction of various species of life on our planet. That's right...WEEPING. And many more of us SHOULD be weeping--indeed, RAILING--over this kind of blind insanity. Point: To say "there are only 1 or 2 good songs" on this CD is utter nonsense, a comment that would never be made by anyone who lays claim to being a "long-time fan of Bruce Cockburn." Period. Point: To complain about Bruce putting instrumentals on this CD simply because SPEECHLESS was an instrumental release? Oh, please. I mean, if the instrumentals were CRAP, I could almost concede to that...but when, in all honesty, was the last time Bruce recorded an instrumental piece of junk? I love it when Bruce steps back from the mike and shows us his instrumental prowess, and "Nude Descending a Staircase" shows, to me, that Bruce not only decided to experiment a little, but to also have some tongue-in-cheek fun in the process. Point: To actually say, with a straight face, that these songs sound like rehashes of everything he's done before is shallow as all hell. Oh, REALLY? Well, then, let's take that whining to the next level and say the same things about, oh, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Yes, King Crimson, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, etc, etc, ETC. Bruce has not only his own sound, but also his own unique agenda for self-expression through his offerings to us: His righteous indignation and outright anger at the impending apocalypse staring us in the face in this F'd-up world, and on the other end of the spectrum, his continuing, unabashed belief in the power of the Divine One and the unspeakable beauty surrounding us in the midst of imminent chaos. Add to this his continuing yearning for real love to come into his life, a journey that many of us share with each other from day to day.

Finally: I must tip my hat in respect to our Canadian reviewer, O Dubhthaigh, for writing a concise and astoundingly thought-provoking review that I am humbled to be in the presence of. (I would be honored to hear from you and correspond with you.) I can only hope or dream of writing reviews of such depth and overall quality, and I have read many of his/her other reviews as well. All of you who have lambasted this CD would do well to read it thoroughly, and then sit back & think on it awhile. Then, give consideration to giving the disc some repeated listenings, and give second thought to what appear to me to be ill thought-out and knee-jerk reactions to it.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weak, by Cockburn standards 24 July 2006
By Tim Weber - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The mild disappointment of 2003's "You've Never Seen Everything" had me thinking "rebound" with this disc. Alas, "Life Short Call Now" probably best serves to give one a new appreciation for the earlier album, making it seem better by contrast.

"Life Short Call Now" will have to do some scrapping these next few months to avoid the title of Least Favorite Bruce Cockburn Album. It's got an uphill battle.

There is good stuff here -- the first two tracks, particularly "See You Tomorrow," are nice enough, but the third, "Mystery," with its annoyingly simplistic melody, starts to gum up the works. On the next, "Beautiful Creatures," BC employs a cringe-inducing falsetto (and not for the last time on this album). The disc catches fire with "Slow Down Fast," a rapid-fire, blistering "It's the End of the World as we Know It" sort of rant that echoes the anger and vigor Bruce showed on far better albums such as "Big Circumstance" and "World of Wonders" -- this is a stunning wake-up call after the mediocrity that preceded it. One thinks, "Wow! There he is!" But the rest doesn't hold up that standard.

"Life Short Call Now" is almost entirely an acoustic effort. This isn't the great news Bruce Cockburn fans might expect. The melodies and simple power of, say, "Humans" is lacking. Some programmed beats, and walls of violas and cellos smother the simplicity of Cockburn's acoustic guitar like a wet blanket.

In the album's second half, "Different When it Comes to You" is a somewhat poppy highlight. But the album ends with a whimper with "To Fit in My Heart," one of Cockburn's weakest songs ever, and closes with one of his least impressive instrumentals (the album's third; too many after an all-instrumental album released just a year earlier). It's painful to realize Cockburn has not given us an excellent new album since "The Charity of Night" in 1996. That's three consecutive steps down. Distressing.

"Life Short Call Now" likely contains the fewest BC lyrics ever, and what's here seems rushed, lacking the power of his best words. Really, the whole project screams of too much time spent on string arrangements and guests and not enough on writing.

In sum, a decent album (probably 2.5 stars, really) but on a Bruce Cockburn scale, probably a one-star effort. Is it too late to expect another great Cockburn album in the future? Here's hoping that heavy feeling in my gut is wrong.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong and impassioned concern for the plight of our times 14 Aug 2006
By o dubhthaigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There is a lot to commend this CD. The musicianship is superb, but you expect that with Cockburn. The lyrics have a world weariness to them that expresses an impassioned concern for the plight of our world. The subtle touches that grace this CD are so consumately nuanced as to make this one of Cockburn's very best.

A few years back in a solo outing at the Keswick, Cockburn suggested that the next time we decide to go after an "ism", it ought to be "fundamentalism" itself, of whatever stripe. Two days ago, UK Home Secretary John Reid stated that in a war on terrorism, a military campaign is part of the way you address attacks, but that until the root causes of said terrorism were addressed, you will forever be trading body counts, and for him the root causes included an unequal distribution of wealth, a xenophobic scapegoat mentality, and a loss of belief in a common future. Quiet a statement after the Heathrow incidents of this week. Can you imagine W The Dauphin articulating such a statement? No, of course you can't.

And that's essentially what disturbs Cockburn the most in the course of these songs. There is the old saw about "In the land of the blind...." What upsets Cockburn is the willingness of a populace, be it south of the 49th parallel, or wandering in the desert or promised land, to willingly blind itself so that a myopic xenophobic totalitarian band of thugs can lead them to carnage in order to gain personally, "tarting up self-hatred as payback time."

It's a strong statement that echoes throughout this brilliant message from Canada's conscience. "Slow Down Fast", "Tell The Universe" and "This is Baghdad" repeatedly ring a clarion call for all of us to wake up and address the very causes Reid so clearly identified.

"One eyed sun leering through the haze/ Hordes of loveless marching/ while the little drummer plays"

"Tell the universe where you've been/ with your bloodstained shoes and dunce's grin"

"Everything's broken in the birthplace of law/As Generation Two tries on his tragic flaw"

Even the instrumental "Jerusalem Poker" suggests an endgame gone awry in its chord progressions. And by virtue of the brilliant progressions, the tune asks why progress can't be made in an area so frought with ethnic hatred. It is not just the US worldview that Cockburn assails. The lyrics throughout point to any fundamentalist nationalism that scapegoats its opponent without taking responsibility itself, and as sartre intoned you can not be free unless you are responsible.

There are spiritual songs here as well. "Mystery," "Beautiful Creatures" and "To Fit In My Heart" all convey a spiritual longing and a belief system that finds the miraculous in the world around him, that aches with the way all that is bad in the human soul pursues all that is beautiful, and for all that, for all the myriad proclamations of God-fetishization fueling the political psychoses of our world, the very concpet and love of a Creator fits and fills his human heart. The love song that opens the CD, "Life Short, Call Now," is as beautiful and plaintive a call for love as any poet has ever summoned. "It's Differnt When It Comes to You," sets out why Cockburn is looking for a love to last.

The CD itself reminds me of his brilliant IN THE FALLING DARK from the mid-70's, and not just for the trumpet. There is a very definite sense as there was in that record, that Cockburn is taking stock. His efforts are aided and abetted by his collaboration with Ani DiFranco, who sings as perfectly with him as Emmylou Harris does with Neil Young. Jonathan Goldsmith has worked with Cockburn producing many of his best CDs, and he has done a remarkable job in making this as genuinely organic and direct as possible. The strings that haunt a number of the tracks were also arranged and conducted by Goldsmith, and they remind me of nothing less than the stirring complements Nick DeCaro's orchestrations effected on so many of Gordon Lightfoot's astounding discs from the 60's and 70's. Each is perfect to the task.

This is a very striking and moving disc that I would recommend to you emphatically.
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