Righteous Love, unlike its 1995 breakthrough predecessor, Relish, is more profane than sacred. In fact, Osborne gets rather bawdy on "Baby Love," which details the pain and perils of involvement with a considerably younger... more » man, and on the gender-bending "If I Was Your Man." The invigorated Kentuckian does seem to be describing love of the celestial kind on the title cut. And, like the Beatles, Alanis Morrisette, and Madonna before her, Osborne makes a detour to Mother India; raga elements spice up "Running Out of Time," the aforementioned "If I Was Your Man," and the outstandingly alliterative "Grand Illusion." The Osborne of Righteous Love is a graceful chameleon capable of conjuring the specters of Laura Nyro, Carole King, and Bonnie Raitt at their edgiest. She throws in a dash of gospel in "Angel Face," only to become a plaintive victim of love in Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love." But throughout, she proves that she's a survivor, borne up on wings of her own construction, singing fierce tales of renewal, empowerment, and endurance. --Jaan Uhelszki« less
Righteous Love, unlike its 1995 breakthrough predecessor, Relish, is more profane than sacred. In fact, Osborne gets rather bawdy on "Baby Love," which details the pain and perils of involvement with a considerably younger man, and on the gender-bending "If I Was Your Man." The invigorated Kentuckian does seem to be describing love of the celestial kind on the title cut. And, like the Beatles, Alanis Morrisette, and Madonna before her, Osborne makes a detour to Mother India; raga elements spice up "Running Out of Time," the aforementioned "If I Was Your Man," and the outstandingly alliterative "Grand Illusion." The Osborne of Righteous Love is a graceful chameleon capable of conjuring the specters of Laura Nyro, Carole King, and Bonnie Raitt at their edgiest. She throws in a dash of gospel in "Angel Face," only to become a plaintive victim of love in Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love." But throughout, she proves that she's a survivor, borne up on wings of her own construction, singing fierce tales of renewal, empowerment, and endurance. --Jaan Uhelszki
"Joan Osborne fans have been waiting five years for her latest release, "Righteous Love". After several run-ins with her label, Mercury Records, she jumped ship to Interscope to get this album released. Many purchased the Osborne's previous album, "Relish", mistakenly believing that the album would contain more bubblegum like her hit single from the album, "What If God Was One Of Us". "Relish" was actually nothing like "One Of Us", as it was a provocative, soulful, and dare I say, sexual album. "Relish" won well-deserved acclaim, and went on to be named "Album Of The Year" by Rolling Stone magazine. The five years between albums has shown that Osborne has become more confident in her vocal abilities. She seems to effortlessly change octaves within a breath, and her voice soars. Since it is not fair to compare this album to her previous effort, I am giving this album Amazon's highest rating. For Osborne fans, I will couch this opinion with the following: "Righteous Love" does not drip with the blatant sexuality of "Relish", nor does this album have the tenderness found on tracks like "Lumina" or "Crazy Baby", which appear on "Relish". Rather, "Righteous Love" is much more a contination of songs like "Spider Web" and "Pensacola" from "Relish". Soulful and powerful- what you've come to expect from Joan Osborne."
The Return of the Rock Goddess....finally!!!
Brian Sant | Boston, MA USA | 09/13/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a huge Joan Osborne fan since the release of Relish in 1995, I have been waiting for over 5 years for the follow up album. It is merely hours after its release...and I am still listening to it for the 5th time. On the first listen, tracks that immediately stood out "Running out of Time", "Safety in Numbers", "Baby Love", and "Hurricaine" combine the sultryness of Joan's voice with the grit and rawness of the music she so finely cultivated on Relish. As with most great albums, "Righteous Love" is one that grows on the listener...with each new listen, the songs get stronger and better as they become more familiar. The combination of musical genres, from blues to country, rock to Eastern melodies, that Joan is able to meld together on tracks like "If I Was Your Man", and "Hurricaine" may seem odd at first, and perhaps a little disjointed, but the capabilities of Joan's voice to not only command, but inevitably transcend the music makes this one tiny inconsistency inconsequential. Joan definately has not forgotten her roots...remnants of her Early Recordings material flow through the slower tracks of "Righteous Love" and "Angel Face" and she continues to cover songs with more passion and splendor than the originals. Her rendition of Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" will make you weak in the knees and lower your head in agony. This album is openly full of Joan's signature rawness, while the hidden undercurrent of sexual energy begs you listen deeper the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that...The new material is familiar enough to please any Relish fan, while the simple traditional structure of the new songs may invite some listeners. And hopefully Joan will be remembered for more than just "that One of Us song"...if anything could do it, this album could. It is rising on my Favorite Albums Chart with every push of the play button."
She's back - relish her presence
Matthew J Nichols | Manchester, UK | 09/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"How do you follow the truly great? Tori Amos struggled to top Little Earthquakes. Did The Beatles ever better Sergeant Peppers? Alanis' sophomore effort was overlong, overwrought, and overworded. Relish was one of the best albums of the last decade, nay, in all of rock music. From the loosely strummed opening twang of St Teresa to the softly spoken Lumina, it remains a musical masterpiece. Over here in the UK, Joan Osborne will forever be associated with One Of Us, and little else. Making your fans and your record label wait five years (count 'em!) for new material is a bold move, but she's pulled it off with ease. While Righteous Love doesn't have the instant hook factor of Relish it is a fine, confident album, packed with strong musical checkpoints and a vibrant, striding pulse. Running Out Of Time is a brilliant way to open any album, and it's the best kind of rootsy rock-pop that Joan Osborne does. If the album has a weak point, at least it's got out of the way early, as the track Righteous Love is over-produced, thrashy and monotone, sitting ill at ease with the rest of the disc. The next five tracks, Safety In Numbers (doo-wop, reinvented by Sheryl Crow), Love Is Alive (howling Joplin-a-like bar-room blues-rock), Angel Face (think this album's Pensacola), Grand Illusion and If I Was Your Man (George Harrison would weep, gently) are gobsmacking. Add to this the brave Baby Love and the frankly sublime Poison Apples (Hallelujah) and a closing with Dylan's magnificent Make You Feel My Love and you have an assured, fantastic album, certainly well worth the wait. It's been a long five years, with only Early Recordings, Chimes Of Freedom (with Dylan again) and Lilith Fair stuff to keep us happy, but it's been worth it. If God is one of us, he's probably Joan Osborne."
Osborne's sophomore outing "Righteous" indeed
John Jones | Chicago IL | 10/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Years ago, Lillith Fair-overkill made it a little easy to overlook Joan Osborne. Amidst bold statements from Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, and Fiona Apple, the pleasant pop stylings of "One of Us" felt a little tame in comparison. And since that was the only significant commercial success from Osborne's debut, "Relish," it was proven once again that timing is everything, and if you come in on the middle of a trend you risk being underappreciated, no matter how undeserved. But her striking sophomore record, "Righteous Love," proves Osborne is not just another female singer/songwriter but a true contender in the world of rock.Possessing both the earthiness of Carole King and the bluesy soul of Bonnie Raitt, Osborne sings with a natural emotion that is at once artistically sound and yet unforced. Whether she's singing the praises of romance on the 50's-flavored title track or keeping herself guarded from it on the bluesy "Safety in Numbers," she gets her point across not with flashy vocal acrobatics, but through earnest delivery that is nothing if not moving. Adding icing to the cake is the growth and maturity in her writing; the Beatlesque ballad "Poison Apples (Hallelujah)" is a wise take on the demise of a love affair, and the gender-bending "If I Was Your Man" utilizes a bold Middle Eastern influence. Then there's the opening number, the half-guitar, half-Rhodes keyboard rouser "Running Out of Time," which finds our heroine sitting back and biding her time while her bound-to-return lover has a go at freedom.Equally responsible for the magic, however, is producer Mitchell Froom, a master at atmosphere who took Vonda Shepard's "By 7:30" and Bonnie Raitt's "Fundamental" to striking heights. Here he works his usual magic on the older woman/younger man workout "Baby Love," when the juxtaposed saxophones and organ simulataneously hint at Shirley Bassey and psychedelic rock. He also washes Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" in lazy steel guitars and strikingly toned drums, and just when you think you have "Hurricane" pegged as a routine rocker he throws in left-field vocal effects and a surprise string section. The most fun however is to be had on a rowdy cover of Gary Wright's "Love is Alive," when Osborne's Janis Joplin-flavored hoots and hollers over a chunky funk/rock groove make for the most infectious of bar/party songs. Altogether "Righteous Love" makes for one of the most pleasant surprises of the year, taking the talents behind a solid debut and capitalizing on them for an even better result the second time around. "Righteous Love" gives every indication that Joan Osborne is on her way to becoming a lasting figure in rock."
Joan is back... finally
Steve Marshall | St. Louis, MO USA | 10/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's been five years since Joan Osborne's last CD, the multi-platinum Relish--not by choice though. "I was trying to make a record I liked, working with different producers...and I guess the label got tired of waiting," said Osborne in a recent interview. Without a record label, she kept plugging away at it and was picked up by Interscope. There's nothing as lyrically striking as "One of Us" on her new disc, but Righteous Love is a definite step forward and Joan's voice is sounding better than ever. The interesting thing this time out is the assortment of people she's working with: Peter Gabriel protégé Joseph Arthur, ex-Hooters Rick Chertoff and Rob Hyman, producer Mitchell Froom, Los Lobos sax man Steve Berlin... The list goes on and on. Musically, the disc is all over the place. "Running Out of Time" kicks off the CD with an awesome groove. The title track has a classic 60's pop melody, and is the perfect showcase for Osborne's vocal abilities. She pulls it off with ease, sounding almost like Ronnie Spector. She's not quite as successful with her cover of Gary Wright's "Love is Alive" though, turning it into a wailing funk tune. "Baby Love" is a cool, funky number with awesome sax lines by Steve Berlin. She gets the bluesy rock thing going on "Hurricane," and then winds things up with a gorgeous cover of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love."Righteous Love is one of those albums that grow on you the more you listen to it. Even with the wide variety of musical styles, it's a cohesive (if eclectic) collection of tunes that grab your attention. Hopefully, we won't have to wait another five years for her next record."