Uneven, but still very good
Cheeky Monkey | Austin, Texas USA | 07/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I would describe myself as a fan, but not rabidly so. Ms. Jones is kinda hit or miss on many albums. This one is probably the strongest since her cover song CD, It's Like This. The first two tracks, Ugly Man and Second Chance, are arranged beautifully in a pseudo-jazz style. Smooth piano and wind instruments blend nicely with Rickie's slurred vocals. The next track, Bitchenostrophy, reminds me a lot of Stan Getz during the samba period, which I love. The vocals here, however, are slurred and slowed to the point of sleepiness. Things pick back up with a fun horn arrangement in Little Mystery, but I don't like the discordance of Lap Dog. Tell Somebody is a clap along politcal statement/protest song with a great little organ solo. Sailor Song and A Tree On Allenford are almost throw-aways as far as I'm concerned. It Takes You There is pleasant enough, and Mink Coat at the Bus Stop starts great as a blues tune, but the middle bar slips into some kind of blah lazy arrangement that disrupts the blues flow. The last two songs are not my favorites either. Overall, this is a pretty good CD, with Ugly Man and Little Mystery taking honors for my favorites of the bunch.
Art wins over Product
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 10/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Six years after Ghostyhead, her last album of original material, Rickie Lee Jones was motivated to return by the need to comment on the political situation in America from her viewpoint as an outsider from within Washington DC. Whilst some of the songs are lyrically explicit and therefore tied to the time in which they appeared, thankfully they are musically strong enough to outlast such limitations. Her debut album, Rickie Lee Jones, did not have especially fashionable new sounds on it, but equally has not dated, and fits as easily into today's listening experiences as this one does and will continue to do.
As always the best musicians around have been employed to create a blend of jazz, blues, soul and folk that adds up to a homogenous and idiosyncratic whole. The album sees her re-united in the Village studio in West Los Angeles with producer David Kalish, a close friend who had worked with her on Pirates in 1981, and he brought in Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) to co-produce. It features contributions from master-guitarist Bill Frisell, whose trio appear on two tracks, and Pete Thomas (drummer with Elvis Costello) among a stellar cast.
"I think I'm a great writer," Rickie Lee Jones has said, "and an important character in American art", and I would not argue. In Martin Scorsese's documentary No Direction Home there is a shot of Dylan standing beside a wall-poster proclaiming "Protest against the rising tide of conformity", which caused me to wonder who could stand beside such a poster today. Question answered."
Cool for sure
L. Hannemann | washington state | 03/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"she continues to stay true to her talent, her creativity, her vision, her UNIQUENESS. i admire her because she is one of a kind and listens to the beat of her own drum. the instrumentation is fresh, fun and pretty damn fantastic. her voice is mature and childlike at the same time. she's cool and unique!
i boughty her albums from the debut through flying cowboys and enjoyed them all. then i bought pop pop and didn't like it. saw her in concert after releasing girl at her volcanoe and loved everything about the evening. (the volcano album, in my opinion is choice.) saw her a few years later after ghosty head came out, again in seattle but at a much smaller venue, and was disappointed by her detachment from the crowd. also, there were no seats at this place, everyone stood jamm-packed, which got tiring very quickly. I left before the concert was over. consequently, i didn't buy that album, although i liked some of the new stuff. recently, decided to check out this latest album, which i sampled in a store when it first came out but wasn't impressed. it sounded like the same old stuff. however, now a couple years later, or so, i bought it and am falling in love with rickie all over again. i even went online to buy it's like this and naked songs. for me, she's refreshing, especially when compared to all the pop and r&b that's being pumped out now and sounds so ordinary. plus, i like how she has the balls to speak/sing out politically."