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Cowboy Junkies “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” VIDEO

The establishing shot for “Don’t Let it Bring You Down,” one of the lead singles off of Cowboy Junkies’ Songs of the Recollection album is a strange one compared to nearly every shot that follows it.

A scruffy looking fellow — perhaps a homeless man — strums an acoustic guitar as though he’s busking for change. From there, images of sunsets over water fade into and out of shots of airplanes, skyscrapers, and passing telephone wires, almost as though to indicate the passing of time or seasons.

The song is a bluesy, smooth jam, but the images are anything but smooth. They are overall fuzzy, distorted, scarcely coming into focus enough to discern exactly what it is we’re looking at. Maybe people, certainly a train track, probably a forest fire? This improves as the song draws to its conclusion, but by then, it’s nearly pointless.

The homeless man at the end returns for the final shot, this time holding a cardboard sign with one word: “Help.” While the decision could have — nay, should have — been made to build the imagery around this man, especially considering the song’s chorus (“Don’t let it bring you down/It’s only castles burning/Just find someone who’s turning/And you will come around”) that wasn’t what happened. He didn’t get to “come around.” He didn’t even get close.

What a shame.

The vivid imagery presented in Neil Young’s lyrics of “old man laying by the side of the road” and the consequences of people’s inability to see past their own noses warranted a better visual representation than what was given.

But then again, sunsets are nice.

Review by: Ashley J. Cicotte

Watch the video for “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” by CLICKING HERE

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