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Souls Alike

64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 13, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Even a quick listen to Souls Alike, the eighteenth album in this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's remarkable career, reveals a number of surprises. It's her first album ever to bear the credit Produced by Bonnie Raitt. Conspicuously absent is even one of her signature 12-bar blues stomps. And where most of her projects have contained a mix of songs written by both celebrated songwriters and her own new discoveries, usually with some original material, all eleven compositions on Souls Alike come from lesser-known writers with whom Raitt feels a deep affinity and whose work she wants to champion. That connection-together with a flourishing creative collaboration with her beloved touring band and co-producer/engineer Tchad Blake-provided the lifeblood and inspiration for the album's direction, and even its title. It marks a brave, exhilarating step in a legendary body of work. Capitol. 2005.

After almost 35 years of recording, Bonnie Raitt knows exactly who she is and what she wants, as Souls Alike, the first self-produced album of her career, attests. Though Raitt wrote none of the material, the selection bears her imprint and highlights both her strengths and her range. The album's opening "I Will Not Be Broken" provides the sort of signature, stick-to-your-guns affirmation for Raitt that "My Way" did for Frank Sinatra and "I Won't Back Down" did for Tom Petty. Two songs written by pianist Jon Cleary, "Love on One Condition" and "Unnecessary Mercenary," reflect the Little Feat-in-New Orleans side to Raitt's music, while the reggae underpinnings of "God Was in the Water," the electro-worldbeat of "Deep Water," and the slide-guitar funk of "Trinkets" find her settling naturally into a variety of grooves. Though she makes a sharp left turn into the sonic surrealism of "Crooked Crown," she returns to the reflective balladry that has marked her musical maturity with "So Close," "I Don't Want Anything to Change," and the jazzy sophistication of the closing "The Bed I Made." While there are few surprises here, the album ranks with the most soul-satisfying of Raitt's career. --Don McLeese

Recommended Bonnie Raitt

Nick of Time

Give It Up

Takin' My Time

Luck of the Draw

Silver Lining

Road Tested

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B0009ZE9K8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,606 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on September 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is amazing, when you think about it, that Souls Alike marks the 35th year of Raitt's recording career. Whether you worship everything she does or not, she has been a great example of artistic loyalty to one's own musical path.

That said, there are two facts about this album worth highlighting right away: these songs are her strongest set, possibly, since her breakthrough "In The Nick Of Time" and, secondly, you shouldn't expect a dramatic departure from what Bonnie has offered you so far.

What makes this album a solid four stars is that it gathers some of Raitt's most inspired slide guitar work in years as well as melodies sung so masterfully that they could belong to the famous album mentioned above.
Stand-outs are "I Will Not Be Broken," "God Was In the Water," "I Don't Want Anything to Change" "Deep Water" and, probably the best song in the album, "The Bed I Made." In addition to Raitt's delivery, these songs are also great examples of dead-on arrangements and production, and the work of a band that understands Bonnie's message and had the chops to provide the right mood whether the tunes had to rock or an intimate sound was needed.

Altogether, these songs showed Bonnie Raitt affirming the path she's chosen, honest and hard-earned stories of a woman who's at peace with herself and not about to sway from who she is.
Those who loved everything she does may find my rating harsh, for them this may be five stars, hands down. Still, whether you are one of them or not, this album should be enough reason to believe that she "will not be broken" nor will she stop telling it like it is.
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2005
Format: Audio CD
One of Bonnie Raitt's talents has always been to seek out excellent songwriters. Randall Bramblett's "Thin Places" is an excellent disc as is "No More Mr. Lucky" from which "God Was in the Water" opens this "Souls Alike" set. Its mystical lyric with a melody that oozes as much as rocks is a diamond, "Sittin' in a tiny boat driftin' on the mindless sea; & if I disappear, at least I'm floating free." Maybe my favorite track is "Love on One Condition" penned by band member Jon Cleary with its bouncy beat & Bonnie's sassy tease on the vocal almost letting you hear her knowing wink, "I'll grant you love on one condition." Likewise bouncy, Lee Clayton (probably one of my FAVORITE unknown vocalists) and Pat McLaughlin (also a rave fave singer) penned "Two Lights in the Nighttime" with its catchy chorus and Bonnie's vocal, "Ain't nothin' that a fightin' heart won't do." Bonnie nails the track, assuring a long stay in my personal top ten! Gordon Kennedy (whose name often appears on songs that make me stop to find the songwriter) penned the opener "I Will Not Be Broken" with a determined delightful vocal by Bonnie, "What is freedom if I can't be me?" Maia Sharp whose work with Art Garfunkel and her 3 solo CDs are among my favorites co-wrote three of the tracks on this disc as she did on the title track for the Dixie Chicks' "Home." "Crooked Crown" is one of the most musically experimental tracks with an unsettling dissonance that crunches over the equally distinctive lyric, "My prodigy & my idiot play for the prize of my delicate line; somehow the score at the end of the day is still 51-49." Sharp's "I Don't Want Anything to Change" has a sad loose lonely end-of-the-day feel.Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on August 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am astounded that there are Bonnie Raitt fans that don't like this album!` Well, to each his own.. I fell in love with Bonnie Raitt in the early 90's with "Nick of Time,"- then found the older albums to be even better. Forgot about Ms Raitt for awhile-then heard "Unnecessarily Mercenary" on a local college radio station last week . This new CD is just fantastic-great mix of songs. Lyrics on "Trinkets" are cool...Check this out.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Niedt on September 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'm one of those annoying Bonnie Raitt fans that listened to her long before she won all those Grammys, and who delighted in saying :"I already knew she was great!" Of course, since "Nick of Time", Bonnie has tried harder to please the masses, and has often fallen in the doldrums of MOR-radio pop. Most of her albums since then have been mildly entertaining affairs redeemed by three or four standout tracks. But things seemed to change with "Fundamental" two albums ago, where she collaborated with people like Los Lobos, and seemed to be forging a more adventurous creative path. Then came "Silver Lining" which sounded overall like a "safer" and less exciting album. Now, with "Souls Alike", she seems ready to stretch her boundaries again, especially the sonic surprises in tracks like" Crooked Crown" and "Deep Water". But to balance that, there's the requisite mid-tempo independent-woman tune, "I Will Not Be Broken", all wrapped up as the lead track and ready for radio. There's also a lot of juicy, funky blues-rock, and this is where Bonnie really sounds rejuvenated, especially the New Orleans-flavored "Love on One Condition". The Big Easy also gets a lyrical shout-out (and a strangely timely one, in these post-Katrina days) in "Trinkets". Of course, there are songs like "Unnecessary Mercenary" that really show off her slide guitar prowess, as well as torchier ballads like the closer, "The Bed I Made". The songs are penned by relative "unknowns", including her bandmates Jon Cleary and Maia Sharp, and they're very good, if not memorable. All in all, it's a better-than-average Bonnie album, which still puts it a level or two above most of the pap on the radio these days.
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Topic From this Discussion
bonnie's lame album
I haven't even heard this cd. But I saw Bonnie few months ago with Mark Boussard, and she was OK at best. To me, anybody who thinks Nick of Time is her best doesn't have a clue in the first place. Takin my time, Streetlights, these are for real.
Jun 23, 2006 by Curmudgeon |  See all 4 posts
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