Burton Cummings doesn’t need to work for the money, he does it for the love of it. Above the Ground is his first album in 12 years -- it was released in his native Canada in 2008, appearing in the U.S. two years later -- so it makes some sense that this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon lasting 19 tracks and 74 minutes. Cummings may have no sense of urgency, something that hinders a blues boogie like “Junior Won’t Behave,” but the leisurely pace does allow for him to touch upon all of his interests, from churning heavy rock to loose-limbed pop, adding little bits of country and soft-rock introspection along the way. Sometimes the production is a little too immaculate, reminiscent of all-digital recordings from the tail-end of the ‘80s, sometimes things get a little odd, as when he sways into the boozy cadence of “Rollaway,” but the wide range of styles, along with a bit of blunt satire ( “We Just Came from the USA”), keeps Above the Ground interesting.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2