Traffic from Paradise is cause for celebration, for it contains flashes of Rickie Lee Jones' old alchemy, which turned beat poetry into pop hooks. Few melodies are as captivating as the one Jones sings against the skeletal... more » acoustic guitar and bass backdrop of ""Stewart's Coat.'' On the uptempo, swing-folk ""Jolie Jolie,'' another nothing-held-back love song, her mumbly voice bends notes and smears them like a muted jazz trumpet. On her version of David Bowie's ""Rebel Rebel," she brings out the wounded insecurity lurking in the heart of every nonconformist. Traffic from Paradise is only the second album of original songs from Jones in 10 years, and the singer credits Leo Kottke for jumpstarting her stalled interested in songwriting. Kottke cowrote two of the new album's songs and plays guitar on six of them. --Geoffrey Himes« less
Traffic from Paradise is cause for celebration, for it contains flashes of Rickie Lee Jones' old alchemy, which turned beat poetry into pop hooks. Few melodies are as captivating as the one Jones sings against the skeletal acoustic guitar and bass backdrop of ""Stewart's Coat.'' On the uptempo, swing-folk ""Jolie Jolie,'' another nothing-held-back love song, her mumbly voice bends notes and smears them like a muted jazz trumpet. On her version of David Bowie's ""Rebel Rebel," she brings out the wounded insecurity lurking in the heart of every nonconformist. Traffic from Paradise is only the second album of original songs from Jones in 10 years, and the singer credits Leo Kottke for jumpstarting her stalled interested in songwriting. Kottke cowrote two of the new album's songs and plays guitar on six of them. --Geoffrey Himes
"It took me a while to get around to listening to this one, and after doing so, I wondered what took me so long. It conatins all original material (save for a cover of Bowie's "Rebel Rebel") and her somgs here are breathtaking. "Stewart's Coat" is one of the most beautiful songs she's ever penned and the fusion of jazz/Indian/African on "Tigers" is an experiment that truly works. Overall, the album has a quiet, meditative, and highly spiritual tone to it. No references to the hard life on the street which have turned up in much of her work. Just quiet, introspective songs from a single mother, shortly before her 40th birthday, who had put her personal turmoil behind her. If you're a fan of her early work, give this one a whirl. While much of the subject matter may be different, her flair for melody and poetry are very much intact here."
"Mojo" at work here...
t72home | Columbus, OH United States | 08/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I only recently discovered Traffic From Paradise, and what a divine discovery it is... The term "Mojo" is probably most often used to refer to a sort of "magic spell", and among works of art, whether it be literature, poetry, film, photography, music, etc.., every once in a great while something truly profound and stirring comes our way, often (uncannily) when we're more open and ready to receive and appreciate its clarity, creativity, and power. Such works of art may be dark, luminous, or some combination there of, but in my opinion, one true sign of a great work of art is that it leaves an indellible and magnetic impression, in which we find ourselves thinking about the experience, with an urge to return to it, again and again. This is how Traffic From Paradise has affected me, and as I've pondered the photos and poetry of this CD while listening to it, I'm struck by a sense that this particular Rickie Lee Jones album was inspired by a deeply spiritual and unconditional LOVE, the kind of love that exists between mother and child; the kind of love that exists between God, angels, and their mortal flock. Indeed, I think the real miracle of this album is the love that surely inspired it, and if you read the liner notes and poetry of this album, RLJ seems to be paying humble and loving hommage and thanks to the "Universe" for the many gifts and lessons of life, as well as (perhaps) her recognition that children tend to be so innately connected with the love and rightmindedness of God and the Universe. Hence the album title, "Traffic From Paradise". And indeed, it is my opinion that this album stands as one of the most transcendent, love-inspired, brilliantly creative, lyrical, musical, and timeless creations of our time. The experience of parenthood is often profoundly transcendent and spiritually re-awakening; and quite often, so too is the experience of admitting a chemical dependency problem, and then having the enormous courage to surrender one's self to the miracle of treatment and recovery. Indeed, recovery from the morbid self-absorption of addiction can be a highly potent path to spiritual re-awakening in-and-of itself, and when combined with the miracle of parenthood, the results can be truly transformative. And, when such swift life-currents collude and combine with the creative genius of a great artist, the resulting creative luminosity may be staggeringly beautiful, and in my opinion, this is the sort of incredibly fertile soil from which Traffic From Paradise sprang forth. This is a very well produced and well recorded album, sure to please most audiophiles, but regardless of how seriously you approach played-back music, my advice to newcomers would be to save this gem for times when you can listen and "grok" without interruption. All the stars and comets seemed to be in just the right alignment when RLJ "birthed" this album, and in this current dark age of "new" music that is mostly hideous trash that causes one to lunge for the "off" switch, Traffic From Paradise is an album to be enjoyed and savored."
One of Rickie's best recordings!
t72home | 06/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This cd will shatter you! It builds slowly, sneakily and finally washes over you emotionally. Its all here: love and loss in all its forms. Deep sadness, but beauty, too. Best cuts: Tigers, The Albatross, Stewart's Coat, Beat Angels. The song about the monk shows that RLJ hasn't lost her nerve! "Nearer to heaven, then, death will not part us again, 10,000 ancestors, who dream of me" This record will keep you dreaming of Rickie for a long time."
Always providing us with her unique and gentle musical visio
C. B Collins Jr. | Atlanta, GA United States | 10/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rickie Lee Jones' Traffic From Paradise demonstrates her considerable skills as a lyricist. As they say about Emily Dickinson, Jones is "cognitively unique" with her wonderful ear for the language of the creative fringes, the hopeful beaten, the brave outcasts, and the redeemed intoxicated.
Her voice has incredible vulnerability, cracking with painful experiences that beam as genuine.
The musicians were top notch, perfectly complimenting lyrics and Ricki's voice and yet maintaining a somewhat independent and interesting flow of instrumentation.
With the whimsical bright "Stewart's Coat" she gives us the wonderful line 'just give me many chances', possibly the secret to all genuine relationships.
In "Beat Angels" we hear a wonderful mixture of the influence of island and country.
She ends with a duet with Leo Kottke in "The Albatross" that soars in depth.
She remains a unique expressionist."
Wonderful guitar, bass, harmonies
cyclista | the Midwest | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Beat Angels" has it all... great harmonies, bass, lyrics, melody. Sal Bernardi on acoustic guitar is tremendous. John Leftwich does a great job on bass on several of the songs. I definitely hear Leo Kottke's guitar playing and vocals. Brian Setzer's electric guitar on "Rebel Rebel" is inspired. Rickie's voice is just plain haunting throughout. High quality audio makes it a pleasure to listen to "Traffic From Paradise". This music give me the shivers. Wow! Thanks Rickie!"