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NEW CD -EAN 606949073725-INTERSCOPE-2000 -MADE IN THE EU
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 spectres 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
Top Customer Reviews
When I heard it I wanted more, so i bought Righteous Love. I was slighly disappointed.
Joan as a beautiful voice which she uses superbly in Safty In Numbers. However some of the songs on this album lack the origionality and individuality that the tracks on Relish had.
If you are choosing this as your first Joan Osborne album i strongly recommend that you listen to Relish first.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.