As a decent primer of Cockburn's material from this period (there's good stuff before, and good stuff afterwards, so it isn't an entire career retrospective), this is a fine place to start, but those who know Cockburn will have this material already, in large part.
The musicianship is without doubt - Cockburn is as fine a singer-songwriter as you will find anywhere. However, for those new to his work, Cockburn has a very clear worldview, and always has had. Drawing on a radical, activist Christian faith (the religion is evident only rarely, the radical activism is there all the time) he writes about the oppression of the poor, world development, fascist dictatorships, and ecological issues. And in my book, that makes him pretty sound. Right wing climate change deniers who care nothing for the condition of their fellow human beings in less lucky parts of the world will hate him. That also makes him very sound in my book. Caveat emptor.
Bought this album on the reccommendation of a Canadian to whom we were talking about Gordon Lightfoot. He suggested if we like Lightfoot we would enjoy Bruce Cockburn. Well, I do enjoy this album very much. I have now played it many times and it seems to get better and better each time. Musically it is brilliant, it's only when you sit down and listen to the words that there is some disappointment. The subjects are different to mainstream songwriting, but I now do not let that detract from my enjoyment of the album as a whole. A lot of what Cockburn says is worth listening to, there is nothing there to disagree with! On the whole, a highly enjoyable album. If you like country rock/adult rock, then buy it - I'm sure you won't be disappointed!