Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Planet of Love
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Jim Lauderdale s 1992 debut is an acknowledged country classic, a landmark album in the then-emerging 'Americana' and 'New Country' movements that took country back to its roots. John Leventhal and fellow Americana icon Ro... more »
Jim Lauderdale s 1992 debut is an acknowledged country classic, a landmark album in the then-emerging 'Americana' and 'New Country' movements that took country back to its roots. John Leventhal and fellow Americana icon Rodney Crowell co-produced, and that s Emmylou Harris and Shawn Colvin among the backup vocalists. This one goes for big bucks online how the heck did it ever go out of print? An American Beat exclusive!
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4 1/2 Stars: Excellent Debut
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jim Lauderdale's Planet of Love is one of the most auspicious debuts a singer/songwriter could release. While Lauderdale had been on the scene for quite a while hanging on the West Coast - where his actual first album was recorded by Columbia and never released - he spent most of his time (and still does) writing songs for other acts. Planet of Love is one of the first records of the new country. It has modern adult contemporary sensibilities built into its production by the once and future husbands of Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, and John Leventhal, solid country singing from Lauderdale - who was raised in North Carolina - and country songs that are so mercurial they seem to defy the genre. In many ways, Planet of Love is the '90s version (post-cocaine) of outlaw country. It may not fit any one place stylistically, but Crowell and Leventhal had long been pushing at country radio's boundaries, and Planet of Love is truly the first Americana and adult alternative record to land. Reprise had no idea how to market it, and though it sold acceptably and was reviewed very favorably, it was a blip on the screen. That doesn't mean it's not a classic. Lauderdale's songwriting, especially when paired with Leventhal, is flawless: there's enough rock, enough country, enough striking pop hooks, and killer bridges to make any music fan swoon. (It also doesn't hurt that Lauderdale is an amazing vocalist who has sung with the cream of country's crop.) The hard rural edge in Lauderdale's voice is inescapable, but it was in Elvis' too. The ten songs here are interchangeable in terms of excellence but the slick, rockabilly-tinged "Heaven's Flame," and "Maybe" with its Traveling Wilburys' shuffle, are mind blowers to open a record with. Likewise, the honky tonkin' "I Wasn't Fooling Around" has all the marks of being inspired by Faron Young, though it's thoroughly postmodern; but in Lauderdale's voice it could be sung by either George Jones or Bono! The track "Bless Her Heart" proves that he can sing a ballad as well. This is heartbreaking without sentimentality. The emotion in it is one of honesty, confessional shame and spine-breaking regret. (The chorus of backing vocalists that includes Shawn Colvin is also noteworthy.) Emmylou Harris made her first, though certainly not last appearance on a Lauderdale record doing a stunning (what else?) harmony vocal on "The King Of Broken Hearts," echoing both Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons. The last two cuts are the bluesy rocker "What You Don't Know" with a Howlin' Wolf moan at the end of each line in the refrain, and the Everly Brothers-inspired "My Last Request," with a chilling harmony vocal by Crowell. If any record from the 1990s deserves to be reissued, it's this one. It's a masterpiece top to bottom and broke open the floodgates for the Americana format in that decade, while kicking off an eclectic but consistently interesting recording career. - Thom Jurek, AMG"
A Classic Beginning
Diamond Dave | Chicago, Home of the Blues | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd be hard pressed to confess this is not Jim's best, but certainly it compares for top honours with "Pretty Close to the Truth" as a solid 1-2 punch, right out of the gate.
I own most all of Jim's CDs and collaberations (Ralph Stanley / Donna the Buffalo)and go back this warm debut over and over. His vocal emotion and keen ability to turn a clever phrase, bolstered by convincing melody and guest collaberations throughout, make this an indispensable addition to your alt-country / trad-country collections.
Having the ever-reliable Emmylou Harris on board never hurts (in my opinion, no greater harmony vocalist outthere).
To me Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller and Dwight Yoakam are the holy trilogy in the C&W section of my extensive CD library.
Not a duff track on the CD and many classic country rockers and ballads.
Spend some time with Jim Lauderdae, you too will want to return to the Planet of Love."