Thursday, 30 May 2019

Bonnie Raitt - Nick Of Time (1989)


Released March 1989

This was supposedly a big "comeback" album for Bonnie Raitt, as if the previous ones hadn't been up to much. That wasn't the case, they were all pretty good, they just didn't sell many and, for whatever reason, this one did. Maybe it was just her moment to be fashionable again, as she approached "grand old lady of the blues" status. Thankfully, it was the end of the eighties and synthesisers were being placed by "proper" instrumentation once more. This is a solid rock album.


1. Nick Of Time
2. Thing Called Love
3. Love Letter
4. Cry On My Shoulder
5. Real Man
6. Nobody's Girl
7. Have A Heart
8. Too Soon To Tell
9. I Will Not Be Denied
10. I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again
11. The Road's My Middle Name                            

"Nick Of Time" is a very Fleetwood Mac-ish opener, with a captivating rhythmic beat and Bonnie doing her best Stevie Nicks on her vocal. "Thing Called Love" is a bluesy piece of solid country rock. In 1989, "new country" was on its way, so it was "cool" to be into this sort of thing whereas a few years before it wouldn't have been. Shania Twain would do lots of stuff like this a few years later. "Love Letter" is a bluesy, smoky rock ballad of the sort Tina Turner was doing around this time. You could see why this was popular. "Cry On Shoulder", while an ok song, is a bit eighties for my taste.

Mary Chapin Carpenter surely listened to the stomping, strong, ballsy lady thing of "Real Man" before writing "Shut Up And Kiss Me" and "I Feel Lucky", the influences are that clear. "Nobody's Girl" is a lovely slow country blues with echoes of Raitt's early seventies material. Her vocal on this is excellent, clear and moving. Bonnie has always liked a bit of reggae, surprisingly for a country blues artist, and she explores the style once more n the very appealing "Have A Heart", which features a convincing dubby bass/drum sound.

"Too Soon To Tell" is a late-night, jazzy ballad. "I Will Not Be Denied" returns to the gritty blues rock sound of "Love Letter". It is a slow grinding, atmospheric song. "I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again" is a plaintive piano and vocal ballad, while the bluesy thump of "The Road's My Middle Name" ends this pleasant mix of blues, rock, pop and slow country ballads.


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