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Righteous Love
     

Righteous Love

2.5 2
by Joan Osborne
 
Joan Osborne may have been nominated for seven Grammy awards for her 1995 debut album, Relish, but her fan base was limited by the fact that the only song most of us got to hear was "One of Us," by far the record's corniest song. Osborne returns five years later with an album that teases out Relish's overlooked threads and grooves

Overview

Joan Osborne may have been nominated for seven Grammy awards for her 1995 debut album, Relish, but her fan base was limited by the fact that the only song most of us got to hear was "One of Us," by far the record's corniest song. Osborne returns five years later with an album that teases out Relish's overlooked threads and grooves with spunk, soul, and sensuality. Like Bonnie Raitt or Melissa Etheridge, Osborne has a bluesy delivery and frayed-edged voice with an Earth Mother quality that's both feminine and no-nonsense, and that sensibility directs most of the songs on Righteous Love, an album of upbeat rock-'n'-roll ditties with seriously funky bass lines and a tight backbeat. "Grand Illusion" dabbles in new wave before getting all Beatlesque, with lovely harmonies and a Paul McCartney-style bass line. "If I Was Your Man" blends sitar and an exotic vocal melody into a potent Indian-styled tune, and "Angel Face" is a swaggering ballad about love's violence ("I was struck down by your angel face," she croons). The synthesizer parts are a tad cheesy-sounding in places, particularly on her cover of Gary Wright's "My Love Is Alive," which nonetheless manages to be one of the album's most compelling foot-tappers. But overall, Righteous Love is a winner, proof positive that Osborne's chops are even bigger than her once-ubiquitous hit song.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Duffy
Five years after scoring with the mega hit "One of Us" and becoming the topic of more than a few religious conservatives' tirades, Joan Osborne returns with Righteous Love, sporting a more polished feel than on her debut, Relish. Producer Mitchell Froom brings along a few of his Los Lobos/Latin Playboys pals (Steve Berlin, Louie Perez) and adds some taut muscle to Osborne's songs, but at times comes close to overshadowing her work. Mitchell ropes in the loud blues and soul leanings that made her previous album so much fun, and the singer herself emotes in a much more restrained pop vein. An awkward cover of Gary Wright's "Love Is Alive" seems like a bit of a misstep, and Osborne manages to squeeze the last remaining bits of emotion out of Bob Dylan's " To Make You Feel My Love," a tune that even Billy Joel or Garth Brooks' adult-contemporary stabs couldn't ruin. Her reading is by far the best of the three. Don't expect a blockbuster hit on the level of "One of Us," but Righteous Love, for all its woes, holds enough treasures of its own.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/12/2000
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0606949073725
catalogNumber:
490737

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joan Osborne   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals,Vox Organ
Carla Azar   Drums
Steve Berlin   Saxophone
Charlie Bisharat   Strings
Larry Corbett   Strings,Background Vocals
Joel Derouin   Strings
Davey Faragher   Bass,Background Vocals
Mitchell Froom   Keyboards
David Immerglück   Pedal Steel Guitar,Pedal Steel Banjo,Guitar (Baritone)
Val McCallum   Guitar,Background Vocals
Pete Thomas   Percussion,Drums
Aaron Comess   Bass,Drums,Bass Guitar
Suzie Katayama   Strings
Joseph Arthur   Acoustic Guitar
Erik Della Penna   Guitar
Erik Lawrence   Baritone Saxophone
Michele Richards   Strings,Background Vocals
Matthew Funes   Strings,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Mitchell Froom   Producer
John Paterno   Engineer,overdub engineer
Rick "Soldier" Will   Producer,Engineer
Joan Osborne   Producer
Aaron Comess   Producer,Engineer
Janet Wolsborn   Art Direction
Janet Wolshom   Art Direction
Joe Zook   Engineer
Marek   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Righteous Love 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After listening to ''Righteous Love'' it is apparent that Eric Brazilian was the main reason Relish was so good. His guitar arrangements and playing were first rate and are sorely missing on this album, which suffers from a serious case of keyboard overdose. Anyone who buys this (including myself) expecting a logical extension of Relish will be greatly disappointed. The same thing happened with Alanis Morrissette's second album, total departure from what the fans liked about the first one. I understand the desire to grow as an artist, but alienating your fan base isn't really a good move in my opinion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been eagerly awaiting this album since I first listened to Relish over 5 years ago. Indeed, I was worried that my extreme anticipation would undermine my ability to enjoy Righteous Love if it turned out to be less-than-spectacular. Happily, it turned out to be more-than-spectacular, as well as surprising and fascinating in many different ways. The most important thing is that Joan Osborne's magnificent voice is front and center on every track, although I always want her to show it off more than she usually does on her recordings. I think she is one of the greatest living American singers. The sincerity, soulfulness and unpredictability of this album puts most other current ''popular'' music to shame. I doubt this record could become very popular today - its that good. This dedicated fan is celebrating this long-overdue triumph.