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Lightfoot at his most confident
on September 13, 2012
This is Gord's most commercially successful album and certainly some of his best work - possibly his very best (although I have a slight preference for Don Quixote and Summer Side of Life). The sound of Sundown is an extension of what he was developing in Old Dan's Records. You can't really call it folk anymore. It borders on country, but without the steel guitar that would show up on his next few albums. To me, Sundown is unique in the Lightfoot library because of the confidence and frankness with which he sings. This almost provocative sound results in some of his most memorable lines. Listen to the criticism of urban life in "Seven Island Suite", his frustration with hopeless low-lifes in "Circle of Steel", and his jealous reprimand of an unfaithful lover in the classic "Sundown". My personal favourite track on the album is "The Watchman's Gone", a simple song about a transient parting with an acquaintance before jumping aboard a train while the watchman is busy "kickin' the bums about". Lightfoot's "theme" of frankness and dissatisfaction is again evident in the line "Whatever I was, you know it was all because/I've been on the town washin' the bull***t down". I like to think that this relates to why Gord has fallen from public consciousness in recent years. Popular culture doesn't reward the truly authentic. It rewards the bull***t.
In Summary: the music is relatively simple on Sundown, the talk is straight, the hits are there, and the talent is incomparable.