Rickie Lee Jones The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard
Entertainment Weekly: "[E]nriched by roadhouse rhythms and her distinctive whiskey-soaked voice....It's still vintage Rickie..." -- Grade: B
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- Released: February 6, 2007
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: New West Records
Entertainment Weekly - p.p.75"[E]nriched by roadhouse rhythms and her distinctive whiskey-soaked voice....It's still vintage Rickie..." -- Grade: B
Q - p.1123 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he eight-minute 'I Was There' showcases her still extraordinary space-pixie vocal chops. Boldly different."
Uncut - p.984 stars out of 5 -- "SERMON's musical crudeness gives it a powerful immediacy. Strangely accessible and highly addictive, it's her best work in three decades."
No Depression - p.119"Jones' new songs are quite literally private prayers. It takes the coalescence of her still astonishingly expressive voice and a sympathetic, locked-tight band to transform those confessions."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1044 stars out of 5 -- "At times primordial, hallucinatory and sweetly self-examining..."
- 1.Nobody Knows My Name
- 3.Falling Up
- 4.Lamp of the Body
- 5.It Hurts
- 6.Where I Like It Best
- 7.Tried to Be a Man
- 8.Circle in the Sand
- 9.Donkey Ride
- 10.Seventh Day
- 11.Elvis Cadillac
- 12.Road to Emmaus
- 13.I Was There
Personnel: Rickie Lee Jones (vocals, guitar, dulcimer, electric piano, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards, Moog synthesizer, electric bass, finger cymbals, tambourine, percussion); Rickie Lee Jones (xylophone, bass guitar); Bernie Larsen (guitar, guitars, gut-string guitar, synthesizer, drums, drum); Peter Atanasoff (guitar, guitars, oud, background vocals); Steve Abagon (guitar); Pete Thomas (acoustic guitar); Joey Maramba (electric bass, bass guitar); Rob Schnapf (acoustic guitar, background vocals); Jonathan Stearns (trumpet); Joey Waronker, Jay Bellerose (drums); Lee Cantelon (background vocals).
Recording information: Marc Chiat's Red Dog Studio, Culver City, CA (2005); Sound Image, Van Nuys, CA (2005); Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA (2005); The Pass, Los Angeles, CA (2005).
Photographers: Lee Cantelon; Rick Shaw .
After several albums of jazz and pop songbook standards, neo-beatnik hipster songstress Rickie Lee Jones released THE SERMON ON EXPOSITION BOULEVARD, one of the most inspired and well-crafted albums of her career. Reportedly based on the gospels of Christ, this album shouldn't be mistaken for Jones's born-again coming-out party. While the biblical references are numerous and not always subtle ("Donkey Ride"), the lyrical abstractions position the album as more about finding a peaceful self than about finding Jesus.
Musically, the album is varied yet cohesive. The listener is reminded of Jones's long-standing relationship with Tom Waits on the gritty "Tried to Be a Man," replete with a Waits-inspired raspy vocal. The most obvious reference point here, however, is the late-1990s and early-'00s albums of Lucinda Williams. This is "adult" music with a "contemporary," slightly "alternative" studio sheen, but it's far too impassioned on the one hand ("Lamp of the Body") and righteously swinging on the other ("Circle in the Sand"), to ever warrant a tag as bland and limiting as one encompassing those dreaded terms.
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