Now What (Edited)

Now What (Edited)

5.0 6
by Lisa Marie Presley
     
 

That the King's daughter would brave the choppy waters of a pop career at all is testament to her chutzpah -- and that pluckiness is the secret ingredient in her surprisingly winning formula of sassy sneer and sugary songcraft. As a singer, Lisa Marie isn't big on finesse, preferring on her second album to belt out tunes like the punk-tinged "Idiot," which (true to… See more details below

Overview

That the King's daughter would brave the choppy waters of a pop career at all is testament to her chutzpah -- and that pluckiness is the secret ingredient in her surprisingly winning formula of sassy sneer and sugary songcraft. As a singer, Lisa Marie isn't big on finesse, preferring on her second album to belt out tunes like the punk-tinged "Idiot," which (true to its title) finds her kissing off an ex with both fury and good humor. The title track trades the slashing electric guitars (contributed by Sex Pistol Steve Jones) for strummed acoustics, but there's no discernible downturn in Presley's attitude -- in this case, a declaration of independence from a former love. She trots out a brace of covers over the course of the disc, delivering a rendition of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" that gives the original a run for its money in terms of kick, but she whiffs in her attempt to replicate the minimalist crunch of the Ramones' "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow." With all due credit to the peripatetic Linda Perry -- who gets writing credits on six of Now What's tracks -- Lisa Marie Presley deserves praise for putting together a collection that manages to reconcile youthful rebellion with the sort of maturity needed by the mother of teenagers. That blend imbues Now What with the sort of punch you don't have to be an Elvis fan to appreciate.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Like the title of her long-anticipated 2003 debut, To Whom It May Concern, the title of Lisa Marie Presley's 2005 sophomore effort, Now What, is an acknowledgement of the state of her career, a message to anyone paying attention, whether they were a fan, friend, Elvis fanatic, or obsessive tabloid reader. The first served as a wake-up call to all who were wondering what the daughter of the King of Rock & Roll would do whenever she launched a solo career. With the second, she wonders aloud what she should do as an encore. Not that To Whom It May Concern took the world by storm -- it received mixed reviews and did well enough on the charts, partially due to her own celebrity -- but it did raise the question of whether Lisa Marie was serious about pursuing a full-fledged career, or if it was a mere one-off. Now What proves that she's attempting to have a full-blown career, not just because it appeared quickly after the debut -- which is a shock, considering that she waited until her mid-thirties to make her first LP -- but because it's a stronger, more distinctive album than her debut. Part of the key to its success is that Presley chose Linda Perry -- the ex-4 Non Blondes leader who became the hot songwriter of the early 2000s thanks to her contributions on Pink's breakthrough 2001 album M!ssundaztood -- as her chief collaborator, working on the other half of the album primarily with her guitarist/boyfriend Michael Lockwood. Presley winds up with an album that's sonically similar to her first -- they're both produced by Eric Rosse, after all -- but it's considerably tougher, from the music to the profanity-riddled lyrics. There aren't many soft moments here; even on the ballads, Lisa Marie growls, which makes them all the more appealing. The sound of Now What still is highly polished and produced, but that helps make her snarl sound nastier, since it gives the music its bite. The smartest thing about the record is that instead of trying to clean up her attitude, Presley and her collaborators are unapologetic about having Lisa Marie play the sexy yet vulnerable bad girl, keeping the music alternately moody and hard. Thanks to Perry, these tunes also have hooks, something that To Whom It May Concern occasionally lacked, so Now What winds up being a sleek, sultry collection of big, brooding rockers and ballads. While it's undeniably polished, it's a bit too dark, a bit too quirky, and a bit too individualistic to be part of the mainstream, while being too slick and professional to be on the fringe, but the album is all the more ingratiating for being caught between two worlds -- by straddling these two extremes, Presley has wound up with an album that feels genuine even at its glossiest moments, and that's due largely to her willingness to lay herself bare in her music and lyrics. By doing so, she may not win over cynical critics -- albums this tightly constructed and produced rarely win a sympathetic ear -- but she nevertheless proves she's in it for the long haul with Now What, an album that delivers on the promise of her debut.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/05/2005
Label:
Capitol
UPC:
0724359381329
catalogNumber:
93813

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lisa Marie Presley   Primary Artist,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Children's Voices
Steve Jones   Guitar
Paul Bushnell   Bass,Bass Guitar
David Campbell   Leader
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
Larry Corbett   Cello
Joel Derouin   Violin,Concert Master
Berj Garabedian   Violin
Abraham Laboriel   Drums
Stuart Mathis   Guitar
Eric Ivan Rosse   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Evan Wilson   Viola
John Wittenberg   Violin
Lyle Workman   Guitar,Electric Piano
Michael Lockwood   Guitar
Cameron Stone   Cello
Joey Waronker   Drums
Suzie Katayama   Cello
Nick Lashley   Guitar
Roger Manning   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Julian Hallmark   Violin
Chris Chaney   Bass
Pink   Vocals
Zac Rae   Electric Piano
Roger Joseph Manning   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Audrey Solomon   Violin
Robert "Robbie" Bishop   Guitar
DeLeon Armen   Violin
Drew Hester   Percussion,Tambourine
Zak Rae   Electric Piano
Mario de León   Violin
Matthew Funes   Viola

Technical Credits

Don Henley   Composer
David Campbell   String Arrangements
Larry Corbett   Principal
Ted Jensen   Mastering
Danny Kortchmar   Composer
Linda Perry   Composer
Eric Ivan Rosse   Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements,Audio Production
Allen Sides   Engineer
Howard Willing   Engineer,Drum Effects
Evan Wilson   Principal
Michael Lockwood   Composer,Programming
Lisa Marie Presley   Composer,String Arrangements

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