365 Days of Album Recommendations – March 28

Rickie Lee Jones – Rickie Lee Jones

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Rickie Lee Jones is just an impossibly complicated, totally beguiling, weird and fascinating thing. And this is such a discombobulatedly genius debut, it’s honestly hard to even understand the terms by which you might assess it.

Yes, you can certainly connect up the Tom Waits and Chuck E. Weiss dots if you listen to Chuck E’s In Love, Weasel and The White Boy’s Cool, or Danny’s All Start Joint.

But then listen to the vocalizations that begin at the 3:19 mark of Coolsville, and ask yourself, have you EVER heard anything this compelling and strange and magical in your life?

And who but Rickie Lee, I ask you, could take a simple automotive metaphor—staple of rock n’ roll—and make of it the noir majesty that is The Last Chance Texaco?

It’s her last chance
Her timing’s all wrong
Her last chance
She can’t idle this long
Her last chance
Turn her over and go
Pullin’ out of the last chance Texaco
The last chance

The second to last time she sings “chance” and the last time she sings “chance.” This is the alpha and omega of what she she achieved; it’s so creepily beautiful.

There was a time when I was more entranced by the acoustic hipster jazz fodder than I am today; nowadays, I’d rather disappear into the ballads. But either way, and whatever route into this album you take, you simply can’t help but be captivated by the damaged grace and odd vision of an artist unlike any other, heard here at her inception, in a most remarkable debut.


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