Gordon (Meredith) Lightfoot Colin Irwin - Essay

Colin Irwin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Though the songs on Lightfoot's "Endless Wire"] are firmly in the rather narrow poppy side of folk in which the man specialises, there is certainly more aggression and bite here than the man's ever displayed on record before….

By his standards, this is quite a bold album … but it still doesn't go far enough to be hailed a true breakthrough.

Tepid, instantly hummable songs of introspection like "Sometimes I Don't Mind" and "Dreamland," or the trivia of "Songs The Minstrel Sang" suggest Gordie's keeping his options open and attempting to maintain the affections of middle America's pseudo-trendies on the one hand while branching out more ambitiously on the other with tracks like "If There's A Reason" (an outstanding song with an unexpectedly bluesy feel) and the commendable honesty of "Hangdog Hotel Room."… The self-portrayal of a directionless drifter in "Endless Wire" compounds the view of him as insecure and unfulfilled.

However, it's always a fight with the formula mechanics of his songs to sort out the true substance. Two tracks of particular merit, nevertheless, are "If Children Had Wings," a beautiful song which transcends all preconceptions and individual markets, and "The Circle Is Small."…

Colin Irwin, in his review of "Endless Wire," in Melody Maker (© IPC Business Press Ltd.), April 29, 1978, p. 13.