3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
If you only buy one Janis Ian album this should be it.,
This review is from: Breaking Silence (Audio CD)
Janis Ian had several careers, all but disappearing between each burst of success - first as 16 yr old child prodigy (1967's Society's Child was an anti-racism song ahead of its time), again as pop starlet with 1975's smash hit At Seventeen (perfectly capturing every young teenage girls angst),next as disco diva (1979's Fly Too High, The Other Side of the Sun) with help from Donna Summer's producer Giorgio Moroder. However by the mid eighties Janis was disillusioned with the cynical pop music industry and when she withdrew many thought that this was the end of her career. After surviving some difficult personal times and an unsuccessful marriage she eventually emerged in the early nineties, newly "out" as a lesbian and having written the songs that make up this aptly named "Breaking Silence" album. The break may have been difficult personally, but the songs written during this period are awesome, and in my view the best since At Seventeen. I was lucky enough to witness the 1991 Amsterdam concert where she premiered these songs ahead of releasing the album ion 1992. The audience reaction was one of stunned exhilaration. I cannot recommend this album strongly enough to anyone who loves great songwriting and beautiful acoustic guitar.
This is no mere lesbian celebration album. The songs concerning relationships ("Ride Me Like A Wave") are sensitively written and capture the real beauty and power of a great love. "Tattoo" is a stunning narrative of a Nazi concentration camp survivor and is one of the most powerful and moving songs I have ever heard. ("Surgeons took the mark, but they could not take it far.."). "HIs Hands" concerns spousal abuse and is equally compelling and disturbing. All the remaining songs are of equal quality, intelligent lyrics with beautiful acoustic arrangements. No weak links or filler here.
One of my top 10 albums of all time.