Search - Janis Ian :: God & the FBI

God & the FBI
Janis Ian
God & the FBI
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Sixties phenom turned '70s comeback queen Janis Ian is now well into her third resurgence, which kicked off in 1993 with the release of her post-Columbia Records debut, Breaking Silence. God and the FBI, the one-time prodi...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Janis Ian
Title: God & the FBI
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 4
Label: Windham Hill/Sbme
Original Release Date: 3/21/2000
Release Date: 3/21/2000
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 019341149828

Sixties phenom turned '70s comeback queen Janis Ian is now well into her third resurgence, which kicked off in 1993 with the release of her post-Columbia Records debut, Breaking Silence. God and the FBI, the one-time prodigy's third post-Breaking Silence release, is something of a mixed bag. Most at home with graceful, melodic efforts such as this set's "She Must Be Beautiful" and "On the Other Side," Ian's up-tempo forays are more problematic. The title track, an oral gusher in the tradition of Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" and Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," suffers from stiffness, while "The Last Comeback" and "Murdering Stavinsky," despite some adept wordplay, are dragged down by dated rock production. On the plus side, "Memphis" benefits from guest vocals by the ever welcome Willie Nelson, while "Boots Like Emmy Lou's" (Harris, that would be) is a playful delight that feels like a hit for someone with Nashville connections. God, however, is notable for its scope and ambition-qualities that have allowed its creator to keep her last comeback on the horizon. --Steven Stolder

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CD Reviews

Janis Ian: Touching, lyrical and upbeat in God and the FBI
Anna McCabe | Philadelphia | 03/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This new release from Janis Ian is a terrific album which is definitely worth a listen for anyone who has ever liked Ian's music, as well as newcomers to her work. The lyrical touching element of Ian's work is well represented in a wonderful song about death: On the Other Side (which includes some beautiful harmonies on the "requiem" at the end of the track). Also in the typical Janis Ian tradition are: She Must be Beautiful (a live version that benefits from the simplicity of the piano accompaniment) and Days Like These. The upbeat numbers include the title track, Murdering Stravinsky and The Last Comeback. However, the best upbeat tracks have a slightly country feel that suits the singer, and include Jolene, Play like a Girl and Boots like Emmy Lou's. One of the finest jewels of the album, in my opinion, is the ballad Memphis which is a duet with Willie Nelson. This is a truly thought provoking and different album from an artist who never ceases to develop her talent and songwriting craft. An inspiration to us all!"
Very good - edgy, urgent, intimate folk/rock
Anna McCabe | 03/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is one of Ian's better works (and yes that's saying a lot), with an edgier feel than most of her others (in other words, it rocks a little more). The songs/stories, most of them somewhat sparse of words, generally have a point of view that is reflective and inward, yet somehow also urgent and disarming. Highlights: Memphis (a pretty duet with Willie Nelson); On the Other Side (a powerfully sung and orchestrated glimpse of the before- and after-life of a deceased hero/loved one) and Murdering Stravinsky (a techno-rockish stream of consciousness song about something, though I'm not sure doesn't matter, it's a powerful, catchy piece of music). All in all, a very good work from an original, outstanding singer-songwriter. One complaint: Ian has developed a habit of placing a concert-recorded song in the middle of a studio album. While that trick worked with the fabulous Acousticville on the previous CD, Hunger, it doesn't work this time with the weak She Must Be Beautiful. Minor problem though, this is a recommended CD. By the way, if you think Janis Ian is too middle-aged or too square to be contemporary, just pretend you've never heard of her before and listen to this collection."
Janis Ian - As good as Dylan, but "plays like a girl"
Allan LaCroix | 04/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Something in the deep dark recesses of my mind tells me that if Janis were male she would have Dylan's success. note the "canadian" spelling of words like humour (we are different from americans, eh!). song by song god & the fbi - one of my personal favourites because of my passion for dylan. matches her male counterpart. great reality based song but most won't get it. too narrow based to be a hit. on the other side - the "hit". has trademark hook line of a hit. radio stations should push this. universal appeal. memphis - country hit with some crossover. Janis and willie are both amazing on this. jolene - great song. would make a good follow-up hit to "on the other side". when you love someone - potential follow-up hit. another good song with a "hook". play like a girl - most will "get" this song but maybe not enough to make it a hit. too bad for those that don't. days like these - to me this sounds like the Janis of old that i had my original crush on ( my current crush is of a more mature nature) which is fine with me. traditional and beautiful. boots like emmy lou's - and the hits just keep coming. this is a great rousing song with beautiful humour. a country crossover hit. she must be beautiful - seriously beautiful song. doesn't get much better than this. the last comeback - another personal favourite. this may not be hit material but for what it's worth, i love it. shows off Janis' maturity as a person and artist, and her commitment to honesty. murdering stravinsky - this is likely to end up as my favourite song on the cd. tremendous artistic merit. lyrics and music at the genius level. not hit material, art at this level rarely is. this cd is full of hits. the cd stands on its own as a major hit, separate from any individual song. beside several radio hits, several would be great on movie soundtracks. it is gratifying to know that my renewed passion for Janis and her art is not misplaced. this is likely to remain as one of the best cd's i will ever experience. biased or unbiased, this is a 10 on a scale of 10. allan"