Finally, Joan Osborne has come to her senses and recorded a soul record. Ever since she performed in Standing in the Shadows of Motown -- those performances are tacked on here at the end -- one thought that Osborne (the most gifted vocalist of her generation and a singer who understands the nuance of phrase, time, and elocution) would return to her own roots as a soul, R&B, and blues singer, the one not often heard by mainstream America but who was evidenced on her first two self-produced recordings on her Womanly Hips ...
Finally, Joan Osborne has come to her senses and recorded a soul record. Ever since she performed in Standing in the Shadows of Motown -- those performances are tacked on here at the end -- one thought that Osborne (the most gifted vocalist of her generation and a singer who understands the nuance of phrase, time, and elocution) would return to her own roots as a soul, R&B, and blues singer, the one not often heard by mainstream America but who was evidenced on her first two self-produced recordings on her Womanly Hips label. That didn't happen right away. She recorded the faux-Americana set Pretty Little Stranger, which did not offer listeners her voice but rather her refined restraint on a rather forgettable collection of songs. Even her first attempt at soul covers, 2002's How Sweet It Is, held to very modern production techniques and, despite her ability to make the material shine (check her reading of Thom Bell's "I'll Be Around" or Barrett Strong's "Smiling Faces Sometimes" for proof), the rest of the album imploded on itself. Breakfast in Bed is closer -- much closer -- but not there. Osborne splits the album between soul classics and self-penned tunes in the vernacular of that music. First the good news: she allows her voice some room here, and can get inside the material when she's not intimidated by it. She also sticks closer to the slicker Philly soul side of the fence rather than Stax/Volt or Motown (though she does cover Eddie Hinton's "Breakfast in Bed"). To her credit, she picks tunes that have already been defined by the original artists who recorded them. This is both a plus and minus. She digs deep into Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Hall & Oates' "Sara Smile," and even Blue Lovett's "Kiss and Say Goodbye," and expresses the discipline and quiet power in her voice. Elsewhere, however, on such stalwart monolithic tunes as "Breakfast in Bed" (is anybody ever going to forget Dusty Springfield's version? It's almost holy), "Midnight Train to Georgia," and Charles McCormick's "Natural High," she shies away from deeper emotions, such as the alternatively more desperate, bittersweet, or erotic seductiveness that the aforementioned three tunes call for. In other words, Osborne doesn't go as far as listeners know she can in delivering them. For evidence, check out the abandon and sensual power of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" or the celebratory eroticism in "Heatwave," which she did with the Funk Brothers. Granted, these last two were recorded live, but it's the voice that gets the material across. That said, some of Osborne's originals, such as "Cream Dream" (featuring that Stevie Wonder harmonica line, a B-3 played by Ivan Neville, and Steve Cropper-style guitar by Jack Petruzzelli), with its sultry female backing chorus (her own voice), is as sexy a blue-eyed soul tune as you're likely to hear. It's a quiet storm stunner. The beautiful horn weave that introduces her "Heart of Stone," layered with strings, tunnels into the heart and brings up the raw material; in this case she's showing the blood, brokenness, and desperation required by her lyrics. The sweet, mysterious, slightly funky horn section that opens "Eliminate the Night," brings the blues into soul and vice versa. This is a late-night confrontation song. This is a woman, obsessed and hurt, who is trying to find a solution to her dilemma, and both her body and mind twitch against the backbeat. Again, the eros and raw need in the tune are expressed with the full expressive power of Osborne's gift as a singer as well as a writer. The backbone-slippery groove on "I Know What's Goin' On" has the late-night funk despite the canned backbeat. Her voice literally dives into the rhythm section's pocket and comes to the listener unhinged and wise to the fooling around of her lover. Hands on hips, she uses the groove to express the sumptuous sexuality that can only come from her own protagonist's hurt and want: "I'm so angry I could murder/And I'm so...
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Very good in very good packaging. Originally released: 2007. BOX #73012CDVD. This sale is for a (box of (1 )Used or pre-owned MUSIC DISCS. This discs has no visible Scratches): This CDs Case has no Broken cover tab, Missing face Page Cover booklet and Broken cover and CDs holder Tab, or has marker's marks: Apply Only Disc s. ) All old library s pr-owned items have mark s marks, tape residue, face page cuts, and name s erased. I checked every item, and I will sign it before I mail it to you. Please read this Note. NO RETURNS ANY DUPLICABLE ITEM LIKE: DVD s Cassette s tapes, CD s and VHS tapes. Please, Read Special not be for you buy this item.