Planet of Love

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Jim Lauderdale's Planet of Love is one of the most auspicious debuts a singer/songwriter could release. While Lauderdale had been on the scene for quite a while hanging on the West Coast -- where his actual first album was recorded by Columbia and never released -- he spent most of his time and still does writing songs for other acts. Planet of Love is one of the first records of the new country. It has modern adult contemporary sensibilities built into its production by the once and future husbands of Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, and John Leventhal, solid country singing from Lauderdale -- who was raised in North Carolina -- and country songs that are so mercurial they ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Jim Lauderdale's Planet of Love is one of the most auspicious debuts a singer/songwriter could release. While Lauderdale had been on the scene for quite a while hanging on the West Coast -- where his actual first album was recorded by Columbia and never released -- he spent most of his time and still does writing songs for other acts. Planet of Love is one of the first records of the new country. It has modern adult contemporary sensibilities built into its production by the once and future husbands of Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, and John Leventhal, solid country singing from Lauderdale -- who was raised in North Carolina -- and country songs that are so mercurial they seem to defy the genre. In many ways, Planet of Love is the '90s version post-cocaine of outlaw country. It may not fit any one place stylistically, but Crowell and Leventhal had long been pushing at country radio's boundaries, and Planet of Love is truly the first Americana and adult alternative record to land. Reprise had no idea how to market it, and though it sold acceptably and was reviewed very favorably, it was a blip on the screen. That doesn't mean it's not a classic. Lauderdale's songwriting, especially when paired with Leventhal, is flawless: there's enough rock, enough country, enough striking pop hooks, and killer bridges to make any music fan swoon. It also doesn't hurt that Lauderdale is an amazing vocalist who has sung with the cream of country's crop. The hard rural edge in Lauderdale's voice is inescapable, but it was in Elvis' too. The ten songs here are interchangeable in terms of excellence but the slick, rockabilly-tinged "Heaven's Flame," and "Maybe" with its Traveling Wilburys' shuffle, are mind blowers to open a record with. Likewise, the honky tonkin' "I Wasn't Fooling Around" has all the marks of being inspired by Faron Young, though it's thoroughly postmodern; but in Lauderdale's voice it could be sung by either George Jones or Bono! The track "Bless Her Heart" proves that he can sing a ballad as well. This is heartbreaking without sentimentality. The emotion in it is one of honesty, confessional shame and spine-breaking regret. The chorus of backing vocalists that includes Shawn Colvin is also noteworthy. Emmylou Harris made her first, though certainly not last appearance on a Lauderdale record doing a stunning what else? harmony vocal on "The King Of Broken Hearts," echoing both Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons. The last two cuts are the bluesy rocker "What You Don't Know" with a Howlin' Wolf moan at the end of each line in the refrain, and the Everly Brothers-inspired "My Last Request," with a chilling harmony vocal by Crowell. If any record from the 1990s deserves to be reissued, it's this one. It's a masterpiece top to bottom and broke open the floodgates for the Americana format in that decade, while kicking off an eclectic but consistently interesting recording career.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/7/2009
  • Label: American Beat
  • UPC: 617742701524
  • Catalog Number: 70152

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jim Lauderdale Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Bouzouki, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Rodney Crowell Acoustic Guitar
Emmylou Harris Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Marc Cohn Background Vocals
Shawn Colvin Background Vocals
Larry Campbell Fiddle
Glen D. Hardin Piano
Steve Gaboury Organ
Tony Garnier Bass
Bob Glaub Bass
Milt Grayson Background Vocals
Larry Knechtel Piano
John Leventhal Organ, Bass, Guitar, Mandolin, Percussion, Piano, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, 6-string bass
Dennis McDermott Drums, Snare Drums
Al Perkins Steel Guitar
Catherine Russell Background Vocals
Frank Simms Background Vocals
Roger Squitero Conga
Larrie Londin Drums
Jeff Scott Young Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Rodney Crowell Composer, Producer
Jim Lauderdale Composer
Steve Addabbo Engineer
Donivan Cowart Engineer
Steve Gaboury Engineer
John Guess Engineer
Bill Halverson Engineer
John Leventhal Composer, Producer, drum programming, Tic Tac
Ted Spencer Engineer
Paige Levy Art Direction
Laura LiPuma-Nash Art Direction
Ted Spender Engineer
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