"Although her albums "Warm Leatherette" and "Nightclubbing" have been more receive on charts and been critical acclamations, "Living My Life" has been practically ignore. And strangely enough I think "Living My Life" is her best album she has done in her career. It represent one of the greatest artist at the very top of her art and somehow, except the two hits, the album never got the credit it deserved. But then again I think Grace was really before it's time and never really had the height for her career that she deserved... She had a brilliant artistic sense; there's danceable pieces, rock/pop song, a pre-electronic track, a quasi-reggae song, ballads and she even get the time to covers a Broadway song, all that on a 7 songs album! The confidence she had in the writing and production on every track is shown has she makes her way thru the songs, exactly how she wants it to be.
MY JAMAICAN GUY: Very danceable track mixed with a warm weather feel to it. Beginning in a great way but somehow it seems to lost direction when it gets to the middle... It gets a little repetitive but certainly not a bore, Grace's interpretation keep you attention thru the very end because she is so convince and confident. But I think it's the weakest track on the album for the abovementioned reason.
NIPPLE TO THE BOTTLE: Great production, combining a sharp reggae flavoured tune with a more rock/pop oriented chorus it gives a very strong song. Grace Jones presence is also so strong in that interpretation that, by the end, you get hypnotize especially by those little strange noises you hear during the song... Recognize some pull up to the bumper symptoms?
THE APPLE STRETCHING: Having done Broadway covers before, without really giving them a classic status, you don't expect more with this one... BUT this time it's a completely different things, it's a total classic. The reggae flavours are once again is presents, giving a real feeling of a warm summer day in New York. Her vocals, varying from talking, murmuring and singing, are one the reason that I said "Living My Life" was Grace Jones at the peak of her art.
EVERYBODY HOLD STILL: Great, simply amazing. A singing narration of a very bad day. It's hilarious and great how Grace completely immerses herself has the character that's having a bad day. Her charismatic interpretation makes this song so dramatic; one of the greatest tracks that she's ever recorded but somehow so much underrated...
CRY NOW, LAUGH LATER: Grace goes for an electronic sound and it work extraordinary well. It's so strange how Grace is dub by her own back vocals (I know a bit confusing...). It has a great beat, very interesting production, magnifique voice from Grace and a totally detached style that you can't really compare to anything else.
INSPIRATION: Wow... You have to take a little rest after hearing that one. If someone ever doubt about Grace Jones capacity as a singer you should check this one... A very mature face of Grace is shown here; the lyrics are dramatically true and effective as well as for the calming, more ballad-style music. An incredible song, really. It reminds me of her other's album songs "Breakdown" and "I've Done It Again".
ULIMITED CAPACITY FOR LOVE: The second ballad of the album is equally, if not more, shattering than "Inspiration". It's a moving piece right down from the deep lyrics, incredible music that just rip you feeling out. When the guitars make the entrance in the middle of the song you can't take your attention elsewhere. It's maybe the most complete and powerful track she ever done. You seem to have no words left after hearing this last song that leaves you totally disrupt.
The third albums made with Dunbar and Shakespeare, is arguably the best of Grace Jones. Although the three albums from that period are three masterpieces of creativity and innovation, "Living My Life" it's simply is best because Dunbar, Shakespeare and Jones were at the top of what they are doing the best, their art... "
A very solid album.
Eleni -. Maria Petratou | Athens , Greece | 06/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
Released in 1982, this album did very well at the dance and pop charts, but not as well popular as Nightclubbing and Warm Leatherette did. However, it is a very solid effort, really fun and interesting to listen to. MY JAMAICAN GUY is a bouncy summer tune, which invites you out on the beach for some crazy limbo dance. Grace's hi-camp vocal performance is raw, unpolished and immediate, while she perfoms in a perfect Jamaican accent. She actually drives the song where she wants it to be and, not only does she support it, but she actually gives it a powerful and sexy attitude. NIPPLE TO THE BOTTLE is COOL. Actually, it is the definiton of COOL. A rythm track driving harder than Michael Schumacher, and the chorul line repeating itself till your brainwashed. Great production. What makes it really interesting, is that if you pay a little more attention you'll find it some much detail, but it all sounds so very balanced. THE APPLE STRECHING, this is not the first time that Grace does a cover on a Broadway song, but THIS time she carries it out perfectly. Nice production, she almost raps at parts, and the song carries on for 7:30, or so, minutes with such insistence makes that it makes you forget yourname. EVERYBODY HOLD STILL. Funny and danceable. A short narration of a day that went totally wrong. The strange thing about Grace is that she utters each syllable as if it were her last one, With so much faith and consistence. CRY NOW LAUGH LATER. Not my fav one. The weakest track one the album from my point of view. The rythm track is strong and dancey yet the whole result is a little lame to my ears. INSPIRATION: Both inspiration and Unliited capacity for love are hands down, the best tracks on this album. INSPIRATION starts off perfectly, slightly remindful of Warm Leatherette's BREAKDOWN but totally different, then builds to a great climax with uber synthsm which suprisingly enough sound really warm, sometimes a little 'scary'. What suprises me most though is that Grace's deadpan vocal perfomance manages to creat such an emotional climax. UNLIMITED CAPACITY FOR LOVE: The Drummachine rocks on and on and on. The song is a midtempo dancy 'ballad', and Grace sounds so emotional and fragile, yet tough and determined. This song perfectly sums up the album leaving you with a strange bittersweet euphoria (?). Yeah, that's true
Dancehall Reggae flavoured with Club/Dance Music
Eleni -. Maria Petratou | 07/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Grace's sixth studio album shows her in fine form. I was not displeased with any track in general. My favourite tracks are "My Jamaican Guy", "Nipple to The Bottle", "Apple Stretching", "Everybody Hold Still", "Laugh Now, Cry Later", and "Unlimited Capacity for Love". A solid effort. You should like Parta & Lady Saw as well since they do dancehall reggae too. I want Grace Jones her to record more albums. She should sign with an independent club/dance music label like Deconstruction, Strictly Rhythm, Curb, Robbins Entertanment, etc. !!!"
Another Grace Jones 80s classic
James G | Long Beach, California | 10/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After this album, Grace Jones went into the film industry for a couple of years before she released Slave to the Rythym. Overall, this is a very solid album. All the songs are catchy and quite original. The Apple Stretching was my personal favorite from the album. Perhaps I should also give credit to whoever wrote the amazingly visual lyrics. Other than My Jamaican Guy, the rest of the album maintains a more mellow and detached flow than her previous albums. This is certainly an album to add to the collection but not the first album one should listen to when exploring Grace Jones for the first time. And the cover art is totally awesome. Even though I have all her 80s songs from other CD collections, I try to buy all the albums simply for the art work."
NEW YORK MEETS JAMAICA
Pieter | Johannesburg | 07/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here Grace really turned into an "avant garde" singer, utilising a variety of innovative rhythms to great effect. I like My Jamaican Guy with its yelping chorus and the social commentary of Nipple To The Bottle, but the real jewel is The Apple Stretching ["the apple stretching and yawning/New York putting its feet on the floor] a real atmospheric classic. Everybody Hold Still and Unlimited Capacity ... are also catchy songs, whilst Inspiration is a lovely ballad. I liked her disco period in the 70s too, but on Living My Life her 80s Sly & Robbie direction really extended the boundaries of her art."