Steve Bell - My Dinner With Bruce: Songs Of Bruce Cockburn

Published Thursday 9th July 2009
Steve Bell - My Dinner With Bruce: Songs Of Bruce Cockburn
Steve Bell - My Dinner With Bruce: Songs Of Bruce Cockburn

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 81408-15528
LABEL: Signpost SP24102

Reviewed by Philip Woodward

Singer/songwriter Steve Bell is a long-term admirer of another Canadian songsmith, Bruce Cockburn, and here he's chosen to record a batch of his favourite Cockburn compositions. Throughout his successful career, spanning 20 years, Bell's approach has always, musically at least, resembled the laid-back acoustic musings of his counterpart. So it's surprising that the hugely talented Bell - despite his musical prowess and past glories - doesn't really make this offering very interesting. "Thoughts For An Afternoon", for instance, sounds like a male Norah Jones which, for this writer at least, is no good thing. Sure, it's enjoyable, in a background-music sort of way, but there's no real spark or excitement, despite Bell employing the excellent production that listeners have come to expect on his records. The style is a steady folk-pop throughout and Bell's guitar picking shines, particularly in "My Lady And My Lord", a Sufjan Stevens-esque jaunt with summery strings. And whilst there is much joy in this album - Cockburn's songs remain excellent, and Bell remains a talented artist - the listener is left asking for a little more spice on their 'Dinner With Bruce'.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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