Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Joan Osborne - Love and Hate - Review - 4 Stars

Almost 20 years ago we first heard Joan Osborne with her breakthrough hit single 'One of Us' from her first studio album "Relish". Both of which are to date, career highlights and milestones she's never quite approached since. One should not be surprised, her big hit was penned by Eric Bazilian of the Hooters. In the years that have followed I think we realized that songwriting was not Joan's real strength and I am sure she struggled with coming to terms with that. 

She may be regarded as a 'one-hit-wonder' but I think that generalization would be terribly off the mark. True, she has one major hit and what followed did not measure up commercially.

However, the years have transformed her into a solid and mature artist. She wisely adapted her songwriting and her songs are now collaboratively co-written and this seems to make all the difference. The songs are stronger, better arranged and in this framework Joan shines as bright as she ever has. Her new album "Love and Hate" is a really great album in every way.

Joan and long-time collaborator Jack Petruzzelli, present us 12 new songs that reflect who she is as an artist. The songs are mature, lyrically strong and memorable. This working duo, seem to have found the perfect formula that brings out Joan's best. Not confined to any genre, they comfortably play with various styles—soul, pop, blues, jazz, and more that better showcases who she really is.

As Joan says - “Love isn’t just one thing; it encompasses faith, passion, power struggles, humor, anguish, spirituality, lust, anger, everything on that spectrum.”

"Love and Hate" is a great album, with great vocals and musicianship. It's perfectly arranged and the production is just what Joan Osborne needed to bring out and show her at her best.

She's enjoyed a solo career off the radar screen of the big time media without much attention and in the process has only gotten better.

Stand out tracks:
"Where We Start" - "Work On Me" - "Mongrels" - "Up All Night" - "Kittens Got Claws" - "Thirsty For My Tears" - "Keep It Underground"

It's a 4-Star Album that you should add to your collection.
Buy - Love and Hate Here - Amazon
Buy - Love and Hate Here - Google Play


Below is a sampling of what others have to say...

“There’s a substance and depth here that is not easily achieved, and I think Osborne is getting more interesting with time.  Recommended.”  -RollingStone.com

“4 stars...(Love And Hate is a) triumph of ‘love’…Osborne’s back with (a) sparkling theme album…a fine, and focused, collection of music.” -New York Daily News

“Her sweet yet husky voice is a wonderfully expressive instrument, bringing emotional honesty, a.k.a. soul, to every performance…Osborne’s compositional, arranging and vocal talents take the listener on a classy, beautiful realized music journey through the trials, tribulations and occasionally even delights of love in its various guises.”  -American Songwriter

"Osborne's rich, muscular voice has earned her fans and accolades across many genres:  she's been a pop hit maker, a bluesy soul singer, a roots-music diva and an R&B crooner...On Love And Hate she explores romance from many different angles, resulting in some of her most intimate songwriting..." -NPR

“Damn does maturity sit well with her…by the end, you’ll be seeing love just as Osborne has planned it — from new angles, new thoughts and with an optimistic, longing heart for not only where we start, but where the heartache will end." -Boxx Magazine

“Joan really is an excellent singer, spirited, soulful, sexy, sweet and sublime by turn, this a master class of performance, songwriting and structure with Jack Petruzzelli contributing to the musical styling with equal aplomb.  They say that, ‘Love is a many-splendoured thing” — it turns out that Love And Hate is, too.” -Folk Radio UK

Stay up to date with Joan by checking out her website here...http://www.joanosborne.com/

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