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.
Performance CreditsJoan 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 CreditsMitchell 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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Righteous Love based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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.
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.