Album review

Rickie Lee Jones - Balm In Gilead

Rickie Lee Jones - Balm In Gilead

In recent years, the one-time beat poet Rickie Lee Jones seems to have been maturing into a kind of 21st century prophetess, calling for revolution on 2003's Evening Of My Day and setting the words of Christ to song on 2006's Sermon On The Exposition.

Balm In Gilead, though, takes a more intimate, affecting turn, including a song for her daughter's 21st birthday ("Wild Girl"), a version of a song written by her father ("The Moon Is Made Of Gold") and, in "Remember Me" and "Bonfires" a couple of the most desolately heartbreaking songs she's ever sung. 30 years on from "Chuck E.", it's a stunning testament to the vitality of her vagabond muse.

Stephen Troussé

Pic credit: Andy Willsher

Rating: 4 / 10

(Fantasy)


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Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...