10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gordon Lightfoot’s best songs have never been overly complicated things. Save for some light backing flourishes, classics such as “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway,” and “If You Could Read My Mind” are little more than his poetry and philosophical wanderings on full display. With Solo, a suite of stripped-back vocal-and-acoustic-guitar songs, there’s even less for the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter to hide behind. While it’s his first newly heard music since 2004’s Harmony, the writing actually predates that album. Lightfoot happened upon a cache of material he’d first recorded in 2001 and 2002, just prior to suffering an aortic aneurism, while cleaning his Toronto home. He took the demos and attempted to arrange them for his band, but ultimately decided to redo them with almost no additional production. The result has a particularly live-sounding immediacy and intimacy, which suits the subject matter, whether it’s the prescient “E-Motion” (which explores oversharing in the internet age), the wistful opener “Oh So Sweet,” or the reflective “Return Into Dust.” At age 81 and 21 albums in, though, Lightfoot is most revealing on the closer, “Why Not Give It a Try,” a track about keeping life fresh and challenging, and never slowing down.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Gordon Lightfoot’s best songs have never been overly complicated things. Save for some light backing flourishes, classics such as “Sundown,” “Carefree Highway,” and “If You Could Read My Mind” are little more than his poetry and philosophical wanderings on full display. With Solo, a suite of stripped-back vocal-and-acoustic-guitar songs, there’s even less for the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter to hide behind. While it’s his first newly heard music since 2004’s Harmony, the writing actually predates that album. Lightfoot happened upon a cache of material he’d first recorded in 2001 and 2002, just prior to suffering an aortic aneurism, while cleaning his Toronto home. He took the demos and attempted to arrange them for his band, but ultimately decided to redo them with almost no additional production. The result has a particularly live-sounding immediacy and intimacy, which suits the subject matter, whether it’s the prescient “E-Motion” (which explores oversharing in the internet age), the wistful opener “Oh So Sweet,” or the reflective “Return Into Dust.” At age 81 and 21 albums in, though, Lightfoot is most revealing on the closer, “Why Not Give It a Try,” a track about keeping life fresh and challenging, and never slowing down.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

Gord fan. ,

Forever a fan

He has come full circle.

music city citizen ,

It's A Keeper

Long awaited! I've listened to the whole thing about 6 or 7 times now, and it is a keeper! No, all his albums are keepers, but this one is no exception. I thought it was interesting to learn that he had written these before his aortic aneurism. But I guess he still might have plenty of new songs within him to come out of him if he wants to? But what do I know? I guess as fans we are grateful for any songs that find their way to us from any favorite artist. This album reminds me of what Dylan said about Woody Guthrie - His songs could tell you how to think, how to live. Some standouts - Better Off, Do You Walk Do You Talk, Just a Little Bit, Easy Flo, The Laughter We Seek, Why Not Give it a Try.

DJJazzmus ,

Best Songwriter alive

Gordon Lightfoot is one the top ten songwriters in music history. Amazing depth & substance. This guy is Carole King, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan all rolled into a Bowie knife. Light a fire, pour the whiskey, hold hands and listen all night.

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