Breakfast in Bed
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Joan Osborne - Breakfast In Bed
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Breakfast In Bed, Joan Osborne's recently recorded new studio album, pays homage to the great Soul and R&B songs of the late '60s and early '70s. The album features a unique combination of unforgettable interpretations of timeless R&B classics and Joan's newly penned songs powerfully faithful to those classics. While the singer/songwriter, whose Top-5 single (What If God Was) One Of Us, propelled her album Relish into the Top-10 and went on to sell 3 million copies, has long explored different musical genres, there is no doubt that R&B is her first love. This new release highlights six of Joan's original songs and ten emotion-filled classics including: Midnight Train to Georgia, I've Got to Use My Imagination, Ain't No Sunshine, Breakfast in Bed, Kiss and Say Goodbye, Heat Wave and What Becomes of the Brokenhearted. The latter two are bonus tracks taken from the highly successful soundtrack of the music documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
On Breakfast in Bed, her first release on Time Life Records (yes, that Time Life) Joan Osborne tackles a crop of hand-picked soul and R&B favorites with equal parts sass and sensitivity. Long an underappreciated artist, Osborne is a performer with the wisdom to exercise vocal restraint for an effect that's more Dusty Springfield than Christina Aguilera. Her fine previous outing interpreting soul standards was aptly titled How Sweet It Is, and witness her contribution to the terrific 2002 film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, where Osborne's astute readings of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" and "Heatwave" outshone performers like Ben Harper and Gerald Levert (happily, both songs are included here). The title track and Hall and Oates' "Sara Smile" are both canny choices that play to her strengths in delivering credible blue-eyed soul, and six new Osborne-penned songs fit neatly into the record. If her compositions pale a bit next to the classics she covers (with the sultry and slithery exception of the excellent "Eliminate the Night"), give Osborne credit for bravely placing herself side-by-side with songwriting luminaries like Holland-Dozier-Holland and Bill Withers. Breakfast in Bed makes for a leisurely listen on a sunny Sunday morning, so put up your feet and stay awhile. --Ben Heege
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Joan does great renditions of those great oldies. Ain't No Sunshine Midnight train to Georgiaa Heart of stone.
All really great tunes.
She has a easy going voice and a smooth one.....She does not sing any originals but that's OK. She is good if you are looking for nice entertainment in a bit of a different presentation.
She gives it her all. and She was OK. I am just not into many oldies. Even though I am a 60's guy......So it's good pop .........
Of the covers, the set starts with a smoking Gladys Knight hit co-written by (former Mr. Carol King) Gerry Goffin and recorded by others like Joe Cocker ("One Night of Sin"), Tom Jones & Bobby "Blue" Bland. Joan cuts a soulful groove on the track. While the track doesn't explode, it does smoke in the grooves. Bill Withers' classic "Ain't No Sunshine" & another Gladys Knight hit, "Midnight Train to Georgia," work less well for me. The title track was best known by Dusty Springfield's recording. Here it works less well but with the strength in Joan's vocals purring longingly, "It's been so long since I've had you here, you can come again, darling it will be like it's always been before." I can't recall either Bloodstone's version of "Natural High" nor Merle Haggard's reading of it, but Joan's oooh ahhh background vocals put a smile on my face with this track. "Break Up to Make Up" may best be known by the Stylistics. It bears Joan's boldly emotional vocals on a very strong track. "Kiss & Say Goodbye" was a track by the Manhattans that Joan fills well, although it never was a favorite song of mine. Martha & the Vandellas followed by Linda Ronstadt have scored with the smoking Motown track "Heat Wave." Recorded for the motion picture "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," Joan blows the track out of the water. She concludes the set with an equally powerful version of Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" that tugs at your heart like an anchor in the harbor of love.
Joan's country-flavored "Pretty Little Stranger" was released in November 2006 and resulted in two songs ("What You Are" & "After Jane") perching on the top of my personal top ten this year. With a Christmas CD released this month, she's been in an intense period of activity. "Breakfast in Bed" boasts so many excellent tracks that it easily bears the few tracks that fail to ignite. Osborne is one of our most expressive singers and this set is no exception. Enjoy!
*lyric per my ear
I actually enjoy the recording - but it is not all that I expected.
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