Top positive review
84 people found this helpful
on April 2, 2014
Back in 1975, I was 15 years old, and a friend turned me on to Jackson Browne's first three albums. They soon became the very poetic fabric of my life, full of observations of live and love, and then came 'The Pretender' and 'Running on Empty' and 'Hold On' and, if he had just stopped there, he would have recorded a lifetime's worth of memorable music. But he's given us even more since then, and the world is a better place with Jackson Browne in it.
Having said that, I was both excited and apprehensive when I heard about this release, because many tribute albums fall short of being memorable. But this collection is absolutely stellar. 5-star performances from a great assortment of artists, and it achieves the rare feat of making a record produced by over 20 different people (as each song was produced by a different producer) sound cohesive, consistent, and beautiful.
The interpretations of Jackson's songs here are mostly wonderful, sometimes revealing, and worthy of repeated listening. The producers of this collection have picked an excellent assortment of his songs, concentrating on songs from his first 8 years of recording. Most of these versions are both beautiful and passionate, while at the same time making you want to revisit Jackson's original versions.
Joan Osborne's "Late for the Sky", Keb' Mo''s "Rock Me on the Water", Lyle Lovett's "Our Lady of the Well" and "Rosie", Ben Harper's "Jamaica Say You Will", "Eliza Gilkyson's "Before the Deluge" and Jimmy LaFave's "For Everyman" are just some of the standout cuts for me, but this is a solid 2 discs of wonderful music. Whether you grew up with Jackson or are new to his music, you'll appreciate this collection of his songs. Sara and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek play on several songs on this collection, and they add wonderful harmonies and accompaniment, not to mention their version of "Your Bright Baby Blues" which really shines. (I was exposed to them on Jackson's DVD "I'll Play Anything" released last fall. If you like this album, I highly recommend that DVD as well if you haven't seen it. )
You can tell when a good deal of thought and effort go into a project like this, and it's obvious that there was a lot of love and time invested here. The performances are heartfelt, the arrangements , running order and assortment of artists just great, and even the CD booklet shows time and attention were put into it. It is colorful, with wonderful photos of Jackson's boyhood home, great song information, and, unlike so many CD booklets these days, it uses fonts that are a size you can actually read!
Don't think about it. Don't download one or two tracks. Buy the whole album. It will make your day better.