Search - Janis Ian :: Hunger

Janis Ian
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

Japanese Release Featuring Exclusive Bonus Track(S).


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CD Details

All Artists: Janis Ian
Title: Hunger
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 7
Label: Windham Hill Records
Release Date: 9/30/1997
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 019341127420, 019341127444, 5019148922339


Album Description
Japanese Release Featuring Exclusive Bonus Track(S).

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CD Reviews

The ultimate child star who managed to make it as an adult
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 06/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As is so often in Hollywood, stars who become famous as children often don't find success when they grow up because audiences would prefer to remember them as the youthful symbols they once were. In music, I guess it's the same story. Some child stars like Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder manage to continue to make music as they get older, sometimes even better than what they created in their youth. Janis Ian should also fall into that category. Her song "Society's Child" was a hit song in 1967 when Janis was only 16. While it was a great song in its own right, the fact that it was banned by most radio stations for its interracial subject matter was enough to make Janis a celebrity before she graduated high school. Proving that she wasn't a shot in the dark, Janis continued making music after "Society's Child". But there were times when she couldn't cope with the fame and, at least twice in her career, has turned her back on it all to both live her life and hone her musical skills. She first came back in the mid-'70s with "At Seventeen", proving to be one of the most astonishing comebacks in music history. She again retired in the early '80s, this time staying out of the business for 12 years. She then returned in 1993 with BREAKING SILENCE, an album that dealt with the realization of her latent homosexuality. Once again, Janis Ian was praised like she was the next big thing in music. But perhaps her third go-round in music has been her most satisfying and permanent, for she's probably making some of her best music ever, and she's now in her 40s. 1997's HUNGER was a slight bump in the road to her '90s comeback, but not a devastating one as some have seemed to say. The reviews for this album have been mostly negative, saying it is too long or self-indulgent. In some cases on HUNGER, it's true, but those incidents are rare. Most of the album is of the what-you-hear-is-what-you-get quality, meaning there's hardly any production values and those looking for such may be disappointed with HUNGER. For the more open-minded, the bare-bones approach works in spades. Melancholy songs with titles to match like "Empty", "House Without A Heart", "On The Dark Side Of Town" and the title track could only have worked with a low-concept production like this. Too much sweetening would have made the songs sound too melodramatic at best. While regret may be the most prominent subject on HUNGER, the title emotion is also one that is more than present on here. "Welcome To Acousticville", "Searching For America" and "Honor Them All" all have Janis searching for something, be it freedom of expression ("Welcome"), feeling of belonging ("America") or family pride ("Honor"). The first two are often the reasons why people don't like HUNGER, because they think some of the songs could have been trimmed by a minute or two. But the rambling nature of such songs actually suits them wonderfully, and are reminiscent of the famous epic story-songs that Bob Dylan virtually invented. Not many people can create great music after over 30 years in the business, but Janis Ian has proven to be one of the few people that can. Maybe those sabbaticals she has taken from music before has helped her fine-tune her style into something so timeless, she could record well into her golden years if she wanted to. True, HUNGER may not be one of the best albums of her third time in the music business (the honesty of BREAKING SILENCE is almost irreplacable it seems), but Janis is one of those artists where even her least-inspired music is worth a listen. Her most recent album GOD & THE FBI has received some good reviews lately, so if anyone has recommendations for that one, I'd be glad to get them. In fact, I HUNGER for them."
Wish I'd been around in the '60's, so I could own the vinyl!
Phil Grand | tennessee | 10/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw Ian in concert at the Willie Nelson 4th of July Bash this past summer - she got up with just an acoustic guitar and blew every band there (20+) off the stage. I bought "Hunger" in the hope of hearing her guitar work. Unfortunately, it's muted here, but that's fine because it introduced me to the songs. I don't know how she does it, but she says what I feel, over and over again. This album is a must-have for anyone who's ever felt lonely, alienated, or angry at a lover who's left for "greener pastures"."
Satisfies the greatest hunger pains
Mark Hickman | Atlanta, Ga | 04/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Janis Ian's hunger is a stark, sparsely produced and stylish album with plenty of interesting melodic arrangements to satisfy fans and newcomers to her music alike. Many of these tracks seem almost "live in the studio" and instumentally "stripped to the bare bones" such as on the tunes "Empty" and "House Without A Heart." A highly-polished project with rich orchestrations did not seem to be high on the agenda here which adds beautifully to the urgency and immediacy of this work. "Searching for America" is without a doubt the album's centerpiece and masterpiece...a true work of art and genius which fascinates the listener more and more with each play. Ian is certainly "searching" for something here...and on tracks like "Welcome to Acousticville" one feels like he is wandering with her in the desert in search of something to quinch and satisfy a thirst and a great longing. "On the Dark Side of Town", a tale of chronic infidelity and hunger for intimacy, is another track that grows richer with each and every listen. The tracks are musically and lyrically haunting, full of need, desire and a longing to be satisfied. "Getting Over You" is the ubiquitous Ian ballad on the album, poignant and melancholy. Initially, I did not view this album as being as cohesive as her earlier efforts...but subsequent listenings have proved it to be extremely thematic and beautifully consistent and textural in its presentation. A good listen that becomes a great listen as it grows on you."