The best of Bruce's political albums
doublehighc | California | 10/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of Bruce's political trilogy from the 80's. Political themes have nearly always been present in his music, but they came front and center in The Trouble With Normal, Stealing Fire, and World of Wonders. Of the three, The Trouble With Normal is the one I return to most often. It has the most consistent song quality of nearly any of his album. Between the cry of the title song ("the trouble with normal is it always gets worse") to the lament of the conclusion ("and the waves roar on the beach like a squadron of F-16's") are a great mix of hard rocking songs, Caribbean-influenced music, and slow guitar tunes. No spoken-word numbers, no instrumentals, no overt religious references. Just nine powerful songs that will rock your world if you are reasonably in sync with the politics behind them. Maybe no track is quite as killer as Rocket Launcher from Stealing Fire, but this is the better album."
Poetical, Yet Politically Charged
Douglas Bowman | Bel Air, Maryland United States | 05/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bruce Cockburn's 1983 offering shows the singer-songwriter at a lyrical peak, with politically charged, poetically lovely words that are unfortunately all too relevant in today's increasingly repressive society. Cockburn thoughtfully turns his acid-etched pen on tyranny in the name of security, exploitation of the poor, hunger, alienation; yet he also creates poetry of delicate imagery and aching beauty. Musically, except for the anthem-like title track, the band is tightly controlled, almost spare, and there are not as many of the musical hooks found in some of his other works. Intelligent, thought-provoking, and profound, "The Trouble With Normal" is an excellent offering by one of the most talented singer-songwriters of the past twenty-five years."