Various Artists

Kick at the Darkness: Songs of Bruce Cockburn

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Bruce Cockburn may well be the most underrated of Canada's major songwriters. This tribute album, lovingly performed by a dozen young Canadian groups and performers, is a significant step toward rectifying the oversight. Toronto's Barenaked Ladies provides the album's highlight--an exuberant, acoustic rendition of "Lovers In A Dangerous Time." Swing Gang, All Her Brothers Are Drummers, and Rebecca Jenkins take a compelling, atmospheric approach to "Lord Of the Starfields," "Silver Wheels," and "All the Diamonds In The World," respectively. Some of the better-known contributors to the project include Jane Siberry, The Skydiggers, and Blue Rodeo's Bob Wiseman. Unlike many such multi-performer tributes, Kick At The Darkness survives the inconsistency of the format to offer more hits than misses. The set pays welcome homage to one of The People's true spokespersons.