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Balm in Gilead

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Highly anticipated 2009 album from the two time Grammy Award winning artist. Balm In Gilead features all-new material by the highly regarded cult heroine. Includes guest appearances from Alison Krauss, Ben Harper, Victoria Williams, Bill Frisell, Jon Brion and Vic Chestnutt.


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 3, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fantasy
  • ASIN: B002NLI1AU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,382 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jef Fazekas on April 9, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Eclectic. That has GOT to be Rickie Lee Jones' middle name! Throughout her 30 year career, she has been absolutely fearless, always unafraid to try something new. Heck, in the last decade alone, she's bounced from 2000's hit and miss covers album IT'S LIKE THIS to 2003's sdgier, angrier EVENING OF MY BEST DAY, then back to 2006's brilliant (and polarizing; people seemed to either love or hate it!) concept disc, THE SERMON ON EXPOSITION BLVD.
Now she's back with BALM IN GILEAD, her most structured, straight-ahead album in years. This is the disc fans of Jones' debut album, PIRATES and THE MAGAZINE have been waiting years for. Pretty much every song has a beginning, a middle and an end, while Jones' vocals are crisper, cleaner and more focused than they've been in ages. For me, the great thing about BALM IN GILEAD is that, while it's going to make old school fans VERY happy, it's still quirky enough to keep fans of the Geffen years (and beyond) smiling.
Kicking things off is the ebullient "Wild Girl", a song Jones wrote for her daughter on the eve of her 21st birthday (However, upon hearing the lyrics "Wild girl, you must have been a terror/When you were young", you can't help but wonder if there's also a tiny bit of an autobiographical vibe at play here!). Strong vocals, a relaxed arrangement and clever lyrics ("But it wasn't very nice/Eating all that sugar and spice/What they want a girl to be") add up to an instant classic. VERY nice!
"Old Enough" is a sweet duet with Ben Harper. Punctuated by popping horns, both lead vocals weave in and out, blending in a way that is so rare in duets nowadays. There's a give and take here that is just stunning! Toss in some killer keyboard fills (both piano and organ), and you have a track that is smooth, playful, melodic and sweet.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steve Schlesselman on December 26, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another beautiful album from Rickie Lee Jones, as expected. She is a consummate poet and musician. Simplicity is beautiful, and she is deceptively simple, but so powerful. Some how she always manages to get my sentimental emotions stirred up, especially when she does the song her father wrote. And with "The Blue Ghazel" not only does she do it with only the music, but she had me go to the dictionary to find out what a ghazel was, and I learned something in the bargain. Of course, I'll buy anything from her because its always new, and she's been one of my favorite artists/poets for close to thirty years now. Buy this album!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SJW on December 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Rickie Lee Jones once again serves notice as to why she deserves to be considered one of the most prolific and visionary songwriters of our time - every one of these tunes are meticulously crafted as songwriting once was and the musicianship is impeccable....Contrary to many aging songwriters who have written their best long ago, Rickie Lee Jones just keeps getting better and better - this record will be debated as perhaps being her very best ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jan Watson on February 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amazing CD! I have loved Rickie Lee Jones since Chuck E's in Love. Her lyrics are woven with delightful tunes...She never lets me down
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Ettinger VINE VOICE on November 20, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The one thing I love about Rickie Lee Jones is her consistency for being inconsistent. For many artists, that is such a bad thing, because they can't maintain any talent. She's not of that ilk.

Rickie is not exactly all over the place as a recording artist, but she doesn't tend to do the same thing twice. Ever. But she always does a superb job at what she does release. So there's that.

For the longest of time "Chuck E.'s in Love" grated on my nerves (due to radio saturation), but the rest of her debut disk was stellar. It was with 'Pirates' that I truly was enamored of her though. Not a bad song on that disk.

She has since flirted with full-on jazz, standards, covers, pop and spoken word music. You know my thoughts on covers, but man she does such justice to Traffic's "The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys", it's worth the price of the disk alone.

No longer on a major label, her releases kind of fly under the radar now (not that there were huge pushes for them before). Her new one is just out: 'Balm in Gilead'.

I can't really describe it, but I've never been able to adequately pin down Jones. Her voice, singing and spoken, is like no other. She weaves it around her words and her music in a way that is inimitable. She's not quite folk or pop, not quite jazz - and yet she's all those things.

I could go on and on about the songs, but you'll really have to listen to them. I like "Wild Girl" a lot. Ditto with "Remember Me" and "The Moon is Made of Gold".

Not meaning to sound like a douche or anything, but Jones is really one of those lost treasures that you have to discover. Or rediscover. She's made it a bit easier with 'Balm of Gilead'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brad Rockwell on November 30, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Great to continue to hear more from Rickie Lee Jones. Her performance of "The Moon is Made of Gold" -- a lullaby written by Jone's father for her -- is one of my favorite performances of anyone ever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dave msity on June 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
just as good as I would have expected.

rickie lee has a talent that just does not get old.

of course, not for everyone, but her fan base always appreciates what she does.
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