Rickie Lee Jones – Balm In Gilead

Triumphant return from queen of the hobohemians

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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

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