Silver Lining (Capitol 2002), is the 16th installment now added to a long list of recorded work, by the "Queen of Slide Guitar", Ms. Bonnie Raitt. This latest release may just be her finest work to date. One of the music industry's most talented and popular female performers, this "Hall of Famer" has truly out-done herself, proving once again that she's got what it takes. Bonnie delivers her familiar brand of blues, r&b, electric blues, funk, and ballad tunes that capture your full attention and definitely touch the heart. Silver Lining, radiates Bonnie's genuine love for the music itself, sensing right from the onset, she's having a one heck of a great time recording these tracks with guest artists, Roy Rogers, Jon Cleary and newcomer Habib Koite. Silver Lining is a bright light, illuminating the incredible talent of Bonnie Raitt at her very best.
Bonnie took on the role of producer this time around, doing an excellent job, along with the tag team of Tchad Blake and Mitchell Froom who produced Fundamental back in '98. This latest creative-effort truly highlights a more relaxed, even playful side to Bonnie, as she tears into some blistering slide work and pours it on vocally. It's amazing, after three decades of performing and recording, Bonnie's soulful voice continues to grow in strength, depth and range, with each new album. This new album is a complete package, a milestone in her career that could help send her into legendary status.
Silver Lining has a fine array of powerful performances, starting with the opening track, "Fools Game". This Jon Cleary number comes smack at you with that New Orleans groove and Little Feat flavor. There's no mistaking Cleary's influence as he tickles the ivorys on this one. No time to catch your breath with the next track, "I Can't Help You Now", a solid r&b/pop tune being played all across the airwaves prior to the albums release. A top 40 candidate that's catching everyone's ear. The third and title track, "Silver Lining" is a David Gray tune, that slows down the pace with it's mellow mood. A beautiful song with an emotional feel that only Bonnie could bring, giving it her special touch. Two tracks that really sizzle, are "Gnawin' On It", a red hot, get down, sassy number co-written with Roy Rogers. Bonnie's really having a blast on this tune, cutting up some fiery licks while breaking out into dueling slide guitars with Roy. Second is "Monkey Business", another Cleary tune that's pure funk and groove, as Jon and Bonnie let loose and have fun. Bonnie serves up some biting slide licks and Jon cranks up the keyboards, as they bounce the music off each other. "Time Of Our Lives", is a Memphis style, upbeat number about leaving one's baggage and inhibitions behind and enjoying life to the fullest. Might just be considered Bonnie's present day mantra. One of my favorites is "No Gettin' Over You", a gritty, sassy blues tune that carries a reminder of Bonnie's much earlier blues work. Here she debuts her brand new resonator guitar with an actual Rambler hub cap, that delivers an awesome sound. Bonnie has expanded her musical reach, by incorporating an African- seasoned sound on two tracks. One, a gospel tune, "Hear Me Lord", written by world beat artist Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe. Second is the acoustic blues number, "Back Around", co-written with guitarist Habib Koite from Mali. Both these tunes have an original feel that fit perfectly together with the entire mix. The album concludes with the final track, "Wounded Heart", a most tender ballad that touches the emotions, reflecting a personal time of heartache for Bonnie. The expressive reach of her voice will certainly bring a tear to the eye, unless of course, your missing a pulse.
Silver Lining is a collection of exceptional singing and songwriting, that's well on it's way to dazzle in the glory of gold. Bonnie continues performing with the energy and passion of her youth, without a hint of slowing down. Time has given her the gift of experience and knowledge, expanding her horizons musically. She's learned the recipe for blending together different flavors and textures into her music, producing a unique and refreshing sound. Most importantly, Bonnie's able to balance that which is new, while remaining true to the style of music she's always loved and become so well-known for. Silver Lining is a fine example of that balance and growth as an artist. Bonnie has developed a greater depth and complexity to her style of music, something that's only gained by traveling a lifetime's worth of mileage in new and uncharted waters within the industry. She's paved the way and opened doors for many new female artists just beginning their careers, as they enjoy a much smoother ride. Bonnie has paid her dues, and is finally able to reap the rewards of all her hard work. Her music career keeps moving forward, feeling more like a journey while bringing her fans along for the ride. Feeling positive and focused on the future, Bonnie continues giving everyone her very best with each new recording along the way. This is one recording your sure to enjoy as part of your CD collection.
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This review is copyright © 2002 by Pamela L. Dow, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission.
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