Remember the lady who gave us "One Of Us?" Sheeeeeee's back! ThiS NMT focuses on Joan Osborne's newest album, Bring It On Home.
This album is actually a covers collection. She focused in on vintage blues and soul songs throughout. I can't get a good line-up anywhere of original artists, so for today, let's just focus on Joan's singing and arrangements of these great tunes.
Check it out over on Spotify!
The first song is "I Don't Need No Doctor."She's got some great funk and soul going on, giving me, at least, something I don't think I entirely expected. Don't hate me, but that one big song was the only thing I came into this familiar with, so this is a surprise. We've basically got The Roots backing her up, complete with horns and some sweet little tamborine noise that, oddly enough, brings the whole damn thing together.
Third up is "Roll Like a Big Wheel." Here's one with that rock harmonica you one hear from time to time in old Blues Brothers tracks. There's edge and grit to it, and seriously deserves to be on the long train ride across the US. If I could put this into a movie, one of an epic journey through the west would fit best - of course, that's if we were looking at a modern adaptation of an old story.
"Game of Love" has still got me astounded. This is a singer that could be mistaken by a big black woman instead of a little white girl. She's got a great and interesting set of pipes and is in it for the girl power we can get here and there. That little use of synth provides a whole other level and time of sound. Think Aretha's power songs in a more modern recording studio. Really, damn impressive.
But then we get a fun one with made up words! "Shoorah! Shoorah!" just lets her play on stage and enjoy the moment cute little old-bar piano going on. It's just a nice little number, even if the lyrics are maybe kind of mad at the dude causing the writing. She's free in this though, moving on with life and happy for it. Keep it going girl, good for you.
Another slightly sultry one, with that harmonica again. "I Want To Be Loved" is pretty damn understandable. I mean, who doesn't, yah know? At least she's being honest about it. The song has a very steady pacing throughout, keeping an excellent jazz club beat with light background singers giving a perfect compliment to her lower register of voice.
Oh we're back on that train, this time with a fun little dance added - "Shake Your Hips." No really, don't move anything else, just shake it! That's all she's asking for. I think it's been a little while since we've had an oddly folk dance instruction song, so good for you Joan. This one's fun and even breaks for an instrumental part that you can use the instructions for. I love the country essence of this song, because she takes it to the rock side of things. Just a fun, gritty little song.
"I'm Qualified" is really cute. It invites the guy to come and take a chance on her for love. What I think I like best about this one is the focus on the backup singers that's provided. They really get a chance to shine the way they appropriately should, while Joan lets go vocally with improve lines.
We slow things back down and break it more into the guitar feel of old with "Champagne and Wine." It's a tale of old lost love between two people and the memories they created. It's not a terribly in-depth song, relying heavily on repeating lines. It remains a nice memory though, allowing that and just that throughout.
"Rhymes" is the final number, and it's just a good uplifting message, where she takes the heartbreak we've been hearing about and turns it all around to be better. You're just left saying "yeah! Right on!" and wanting the best for her afterwords.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Game of Love"
- "Shoorah! Shoorah!"
- "I Want to Be Loved"
- "Shake Your Hips"
Man, it's rare to find a female voice with such a low, funky register that sings out in a cool sweet way. Hope y'all enjoyed this one as much as I did. While it's not going to jump to the top of my favorites any time soon, it is an impressive little gem amongst the rocks that deserves some recognition and good-time listening attention.