Janis Ian

Janis Ian

God & the FBI

Windham Hill

Janis Ian’s latest CD, God & the FBI, comes across as a release that is both whimsical and poignant. The eleven tracks highlight Ian’s various musical tastes with country, pop and introspective ballads. Her gift as a talented songwriter is evident on every song. Foregoing the big studios, God & the FBI was recorded at a house in the suburbs. Guest artists include Willie Nelson, Chet Atkins, and Steve Gadd. The opening track is a satirical look at government paranoia that pokes a little fun at our obsession with Communists. The musical tone turns one-eighty for “On the Other Side,” a song about death with a chorus of angels singing in Latin. “Memphis,” sung with Willie Nelson, is a country-flavored tribute to the city. The musical variations continue through the album with the snappy “Jolene.” “Play Like a Girl” is the radio-friendly pop song with bright bouncy beats and a guitar solo by the “chick singer” that will leave you dancing in the kitchen and humming in the car. The pop is balanced with “Days Like These” and “She Must Beautiful,” the slower ballads. “Boots Like Emmy Lou’s” brings back the country riffs, but this time mocking female country singers, their egos and all their trappings. Janis closes out the CD with “Murdering Stravinsky,” another satirical look at the so-called avant garde. Sad songs, satire, country songs and the mocking of country stars – sounds like a Janis Ian hit to me.

Windham Hill, 75 Willow Rd., Menlo Park, CA 94025; http://www.windham.com, http://www.janisian.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland
    Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam
    Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall
    Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives