The latest in a series of highly polished albums of good-natured boogie, blues, and singer-songwriter fare, Bonnie Raitt's Silver Lining won't disappoint the initiated. Recorded with her highly seasoned road band and copro... more »duced (again) by the ubiquitous Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake, this is a high-quality product. The question, as always, is whether the material raises it to the level of extraordinary. Raitt picks songs shrewdly. Here, the unearthed gems are David Gray's title song and the closing ballad, "Wounded Heart," by Jude Johnson. Less successful and more, well, familiar are the songs cowritten with her bandmates. Instrumental highlights include Bonnie's slide duel with Roy Rogers on "Gnawin' It" and Andy Abad's highlife guitar chops on Oliver Mtukudzi's "Hear Me Lord." Jon Cleary's barrelhouse keys throughout owe a debt to Billy Payne of Little Feat. One may occasionally wish the producers had been allowed more rein to pepper the arrangements with their trademark quirky instrumentation, but the record rewards repeated listens. --Rob Stewart« less
The latest in a series of highly polished albums of good-natured boogie, blues, and singer-songwriter fare, Bonnie Raitt's Silver Lining won't disappoint the initiated. Recorded with her highly seasoned road band and coproduced (again) by the ubiquitous Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake, this is a high-quality product. The question, as always, is whether the material raises it to the level of extraordinary. Raitt picks songs shrewdly. Here, the unearthed gems are David Gray's title song and the closing ballad, "Wounded Heart," by Jude Johnson. Less successful and more, well, familiar are the songs cowritten with her bandmates. Instrumental highlights include Bonnie's slide duel with Roy Rogers on "Gnawin' It" and Andy Abad's highlife guitar chops on Oliver Mtukudzi's "Hear Me Lord." Jon Cleary's barrelhouse keys throughout owe a debt to Billy Payne of Little Feat. One may occasionally wish the producers had been allowed more rein to pepper the arrangements with their trademark quirky instrumentation, but the record rewards repeated listens. --Rob Stewart
"Reviewer: STEVE BASKIN from SPRINGDALE, AR USA
Sometimes reviewers obviously write reviews after probably not listening to what they are reviewing. From some I've read here, that's the case. This is a solid CD. You will listen to each cut many times, enjoying it more and more each time you hear it. As a professional musician, I bought the CD thinking it would have one or two tunes to cover. As it turns out, I told our lead singer, she would love the first seven tunes. She called back and added two more! This CD is full , not partially full, but full of great song writing. At times, Bonnie sounds like the Staples such as the cut, "Time of Our Lives". "Valley of Pain" sounds like contemporary Christian. Contrary to "Valley of Pain", you'll need to listen to "Gnawing On It" at a lower volume around insightful children...the bari sax is perfect for the tune and Bonnie "guts it out". My favorite cut of the CD is "Wounded Heart", simply because it's such a nice ballad, well written and well performed. The opening cut, "Fool's Game" sounds much like Bonnie through and through as does "I Can't Help You Now". The blues cuts are great if you are a blues fan. To throw another curve ball, with a bit of slider, is "Monkey Business". If you like funky, Bonnie can be and is on this tune. Initially I thought she was singing a tune which she wasn't really suited for, when in fact, after listening to her sing it now many times, I've figured out what a talented singer Bonnie is in that she really can get funky. I used to think of Bonnie Raitt and her bands as good house bands, but after her last few CD's, I've decided she is definitely moving into legend status with me. This CD certainly helps her gain the respect of those not so in tune with her music. She surpasses my expectations, based on my past experiences of both listening and playing her music. I base my ratings/reviews on how many times I hit the fast forward button...I think after two listenings you will never hit the fast forward button again. Also, I can certainly see Grammy slidin' in for this CD. Buy it!"
"Silver Lining", soon to be Gold!
Todd Obermire | Tacoma, WA USA | 04/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I opened up Bonnie's 16th release after retrieving it from my mailbox, I suddenly realized I was more excited about getting this CD than I was a few weeks ago when my tax refund came in the mail! If you can relate to that kind of obsession with Raitt's music, then you are going to love this CD.Produced by Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom, who also produced 1998's Fundamental", this CD takes you through many different styles of music and moods, which is something I have always loved about Bonnie's albums. If you are looking for a traditional blues album, then this CD might not be for you, but if you enjoy many different styles of blues mixed with sounds of the Big Easy, Funk, a little Caribbean tossed in for good measure, then hop on board and hang on baby! Of course Bonnie's wicked slide guitar is always on the menu.The interesting mix of song styles is attributed to the 15 guest artists and 5 guest vocalists who grace this release, in addition to her "house band" consisting of Hutch "The Touch" Hutchinson on bass, Ricky Fataar on drums, George Marinelli on guitar and the most recent addition of Jon Cleary on keyboards. I saw Jon with Bonnie's band back in September at the Puyallup Fair show and was impressed with his playing ability, which captured some of the early Littlefeat style of Billy Payne.Bonnie wrote or co-wrote 3 of the 12 songs on Silver Lining. The title track is a David Grey song, which is also on his 1999 release White Ladder. The CD jumps in headfirst with Track one - Fools Game, which has that Big Easy, Littlefeat groove to it. Track 10 - No Getting Over You, also continues the feel, with Bonnie and her incredible custom National Slide Guitar. Track 3 - I Can't Help You Now was the first single released prior to the albums release date and is getting a lot of airplay locally. Bluesman Roy Rogers co-wrote and plays slide on Track 5 - Gnawin' on it, which is a nasty, hot blues number. With lyrics like - "I got to get off early, I just got to get you home, Gonna show you, little woman, why a dog loves a bone", Bonnie is indeed in her element, and loving every minute of it.Other notable songs are the Motown-inspired Time of Our Lives (Track 4), and Monkey Business, (Track 6), written by Keyboardist Jon Cleary. This one lays down the funk the way only Bonnie can do it. Then Bonnie takes you through two gospel-inspired numbers, Valley of Pain and Hear Me Lord. Habib Koite and Bamada lend some very interesting sounds to the acoustic mix of Back Around (Track 11).This is one of those releases that will quickly become a favorite. It is very obvious that Bonnie had a lot of fun putting this one out."
7 days and holding
bgowl | New Braunfels, TX United States | 04/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My then sister-in-law traded me her new Bonnie Raitt album for my Rita Coolidge. Too bluesy she said. That was 1973. I was hooked. Bonnie's albums define sections of my life. Homeplate: My youngest daughter was born. The Glow: I sobered up a year later. And so it goes. I loved the decidedly non-commercial aspects of her work. Then she gained popularity with her pop flavored Grammy winners. Good for her. Her talent deserves recognition. But,her most popular albums are my least favorite of her work, though I still like them.
I can't believe 30 years have gone by. Well...
I judge an album's appeal by the number of days it stays on my car player. I commute two hours a day. A seven day cd is exceptional. Steve Earle got it with Transcendental Blues. Willie with Milk Cow Blues. Bonnie's Silver Lining is at 7 days and holding. I love that woman's voice, her phrasing, her guitar playing and the guys who pick with her. Bonnie fans will dig this cd. Folks who still like melody, lyrics, and emotional phrasing will like this cd, as well.
I like every cut on this album, though Back Around has an appeal for me that is most visceral. This is one of those recordings that makes me feel as though I got my money's worth. Believe me, I have lots of recordings that makes me feel as though I didn't."
Comfortable As An Old Sweatshirt, Fresh as the Shore
Karl Miller | Phoenixville, PA United States | 04/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Consistency" vs. "Innovation" is at the essence of any artist's progression, particularly one with a track record such as the Queen of The Slide. While other artists of her "generation" have genre hopped (Linda Ronstadt), or played follow the trend (Rickie Lee Jones' Ghostyhead), Bonnie just keeps putting out entertaining records that don't deviate (too much) from a successful blues-based form. There's a lot to be said for that, and this new project strongly supports the argument.Most of the songs on "Silver Lining" play to Bonnie's strong points - strong guitar work, interesting lyrics, subdued harmonies. Bonnie's voice is also in very strong form, which is very welcome in an era of studio created vocals that lack eemotion.
"I Can't Help You Now" reminds you exactly why you buy a Bonnie Raitt CD - it's a breezy, emotion laden track, with just enough rhythm support to keep the arrangement interesting. "Gnawing On It", the best song on this disc features outstanding guitar work. Other highlights are "Fool's Game", and "Silver Lining", written by the ever-tuneful David Gray (Babylon).
Most of these songs are going to sound great played at outdoor arenas this summertime. As fans of Bonnie know, it's the live performances that are the fiercest display of her many talents. I'm looking forward to hearing most of this album live."
Bonnie Rates 5 Stars
Mike King | Taunton, MA United States | 05/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bonnie Raitt sounds great on "Silver Lining," her best album in years. I especially enjoyed her sensuous vocal, backed by bluesy guitar licks and barrelhouse piano, on the raunchy song "Gnawin' On It." There's no subtlety to the lyrics. "I got to take off early, I just got to get you home. Gonna show you, little woman, why a dog loves a bone." This is followed by the similarly themed "Monkey Business." This eclectic collection also has a spiritual side. "Hear Me Lord" is a gospel song that features a shimmering guitar sound, very reminiscent of Paul Simon's "Graceland." The album closes out with the beautiful ballad "Wounded Heart." With its heartfelt delivery and poignant piano accompaniment, it compares favorably to her classic "Angel From Montgomery." I wish that every dark cloud had a silver lining as bright and beautiful as this album!"