That Downie’s first poetry book, Coke Machine Glow, outsold published works by such CanLit icons as Leonard Cohen can be explained by the Tragically Hip’s massive popularity. But Gordo’s no literary pretender—he’s already at work on another volume. Meanwhile, his second solo album continues to show evidence of a fertile imagination, with wistful ballads and wild, sometimes wacky experimental tracks. When Downie sings “we’re not dabblers or hobbyists anymore” on “We’re Hardcore,” he means it.
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