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Dart to the Heart

4.4 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 1, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

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Bruce Cockburn is Canada's version of Richard Thompson, a brilliant folk-rock guitarist who also writes smart, acerbic lyrics about the twisted ways of modern society and modern romance. Never as vicious or as funny as Thompson, Cockburn is a more restrained, less obvious talent, but rewarding just the same. Dart to the Heart, free of political abstractions and filled with personal musings on love, is his best since 1985's World of Wonders. The first single, "Listen for the Laugh," is a boisterous hornªpowered rocker that insists good-naturedly that the surest sign of love is not sighing but laughter--and very specific sort of laughter, like "a chain saw in a velvet glove." That's a good description for Cockburn's guitar work, too, for he keeps it buried behind his deep, sleepy vocals, but if you listen closely you can hear just how his picking chews up chords and sends notes flying in all directions. --Geoffrey Himes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 1, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia Records
  • ASIN: B00000295H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,882 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bruce Cockburn is one of the finest musicians ever to have graced popular music, as well as one of the most politically and socially aware. What I'd regretted since the early Eighties was that he decided to shift gears so completely from his acoustic, up-close-and-personal style into the one typified by "If I Had A Rocket Launcher," heavy on synths and political commentary. It's not a bad style, but was there no room for the type of thing he'd done before? Thankfully, the answer is yes with DART TO THE HEART. With a good blend of acoustic and electric, Cockburn explores the roads of love and commitment in relating to another person. "Bone In My Ear," "Train In The Rain" and "Scanning These Crowds" all have that intense personal view that Cockburn somehow makes universal; you don't know why a lover is being compared to a bone in the ear, but it FEELS right. He also does what should be a bonafide standard-in-the-making with "All The Ways I Want You," as gorgeous a love song as there is. This album is one Cockburn's best.
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Format: Audio CD
This was the first album...oops, CD (dating myself!) I had ever heard from Bruce Cockburn. We were living in Sweden and listening to a fantastic (now alas morphed into eurotechnopop) American radio station in Stockholm. In the beginning, they had no play lists, other than what the DJs liked - it was eclectic and amazing, and this was in the mix. I learned more about music during that period (1993-94) than I had in years. Then my husband and I were lucky enough to spend several days at the rock festival in Roskilde, Denmark, where we saw BC play live. I'll never forget it.
Every song on this CD has engraved itself on my memory. They make me laugh, cry, smile; the music delights my soul and the poetry of his lyrics stimulates my mind and pushes me to work on my own writing. "Bone in My Ear" and "All the Ways I Want You" are two of the most compelling and beautiful love songs I know. And when I think of hanging at a crossroads and drying in the wind...well, I can't help but smile.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While I would be in the minority, if I had to pick just one Cockburn CD this would be it. This is simpler music than most of his work, and mostly acoustic, but the melody and lyrics on the CD is typical Cockburn amazing, creative quality.

Most of the songs are on the, wistful side, but never one dimensional. And there are more typical Bruck Cockburn songs on the CD.

How can you not love something this simple and true: 'Kill for money, die for love. Whatever was god thinking of?' It's one of my favorite line in any song. It's like here, here is 'life' in 11 words.

Cockburn on this album: It's the first time I've ever done an album as focused as this one on the issue of the human heart," Cockburn says, discussing what could be called his first album of love songs.
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Format: Audio CD
Bruce Cockburn's "Dart to the Heart" from 1994 is a difficult one for this longtime fan to rate. It contains some of Cockburn's most tender and beautiful love songs in the ballads "All the Ways I Want You" and "Someone I Used to Love." Many of the songs on the album are in fact among the artist's most personal and direct meditations on love to date. The song "Closer to the Light," written in memory of fellow singer/songwriter Mark Heard upon his death, is aching and hopeful at the same time and is a wonderful expression of sorrow and wonder in the face of mortality. The two instrumental tunes on the album, "Train in the Rain" and "Sunrise on the Mississippi," are also classic Cockburn and remind us just what a gifted and underrated guitarist he is. Many of the songs on the album are strong first-rate Cockburn. But where "Dart to the Heart" falls short for me is with the more upbeat tunes. The opening song "Listen for the Laugh," for example, is a propulsive horn-driven number that might have worked, but somehow gifted producer T Bone Burnett fails to capture a compelling vocal performance from Cockburn to match the organic rock sound. Similarly raucous songs "Scanning These Crowds" and "Tie Me at the Crossroads" fall short in the same way, with Cockburn's vocals feeling forced and uncharacteristically non-melodic. We know that Cockburn can rock under the guidance of his producer, as demonstrated by songs like "A Dream Like Mine" or "Somebody Touched Me" from 1991's "Nothing But a Burning Light" which was also produce by Burnett. But for whatever reason, the faster songs on the album lessen it's otherwise intimate, earthy appeal. Bruce Cockburn is one of those rare artists who simply doesn't produce any bad stuff, so the album is easy to recommend. There are some really powerful and moving songs on the album that make it well worth a listen, but the somewhat flat, hollow performances on the faster songs hold the album back a bit overall.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with previous reviewer "B. Kirkland" on Dart To The Heart by Cockburn. It's facile and competent. But when has facile and competent ever warmed the cable that wires the heart to the mind of anyone. One of the greatest songwriters of our generation he most assuredly is, but it seems he is just going through the motions here. The pressure, internal and external no doubt, for song artists to do "another album" ruins the terrain of so so many. How refreshing it would be if writer/singers would wait until time gave them undeniably beauty-strong material before going into the studio. Albums like this, instead of adding a measure of respect to an artist, actually pulls down the tenor of the total body of work. Best not to go there.
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