Release Date: Sep 9, 2008
Record label: Saguaro Road
Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Alternative
Thirteen years after her brush with radio-hit ubiquity, this bluesy-voiced New Yorker is asking questions somewhat less philosophical than ”What if God was one of us?” ”I’ll be your heaven/Oh, can’t you feel it?” she moans sensually on the title track of her latest disc Little Wild One, an earthy soul-rock set that redeems Joan Osborne’s occasionally mushy songwriting with full-blooded singing and deep roots-music grooves. Her subject is life in NYC, but her longing roams free. BDOWNLOAD THIS: Listen to tracks from Little Wild One on the musician’s website — (click on the Jukebox tab!) .
The title track features Osborne on vocals and Bazilian on everything else. It's a paean to wild desire delivered without overt force that contains a maximum of direct, unsubtle sensuality. There is a conscious debt to Bo Diddley on "Rodeo," it's framed with that wonderful, shuffling rhythmic structure and expands from there. One of the covers here is a contemporary -- nearly unrecognizable -- reading of the Rev.
Well-crafted effort from versatile singer/songwriter short on grabbers“I have been unfaithful,” confesses Osborne at the top of “Hallelujah in the City,” which opens her sixth album, but the beloved she’s addressing turns out to be New York, the Kentucky-born artist’s adopted hometown. Amid chiming mandolin and folk-rock electric guitar, Osborne’s sturdy voice rises in the track’s climactic moments to gospel-like conviction. Later, “Can’t Say No” features muezzin-like yodels, riding atop a galloping, banjo-centered groove.
Sometimes the hardest lesson for artists is delivering the goods that brought them their audience in the first place. Joan Osborne didn't wander too far from the dynamic Relish after it hit in 1995, but her subsequent recordings haven't captured her as wonderfully all-around until Little Wild One. Osborne's stock-in-trade remains her voice, earthy, confident, and as at home with the Chieftains as Bob Dylan or Spearhead.