Joan Osborne

Joan Osborne

Righteous Love

Interscope

The follow-up to Joan Osborne’s excellent debut, Relish, took five years, so expectations are understandably high. The real beauty of Relish was in the simple, gritty nature of a woman singing from the heart for no other reason than her love of music. Righteous Love is more heavily produced and trades in the rootsy, bluesy, and inspired feel of Relish for more pop-oriented songs like “Righteous Love.” That said, there are still several gems that showcase Osborne’s musical passion and intense vocals, such as the funky “Safety in Numbers” and the soulful “Angel Face.” Righteous Love is also more musically experimental, ranging from the raw ’70s sound of “Love Is Alive” to the middle eastern-influenced “If I Was Your Man” to the rocking “Baby Love.” This album falls short by taking attention away from Osborne’s natural talents in order to showcase unnecessary production gimmicks; however, Osborne’s fans don’t have any other options after waiting so long for new material.

Interscope Records, 2220 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404; http://www.interscope.com

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