.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/c911e02db6d4ba3e1b97a4f77f60d7724e58406e.jpg Green Light

Bonnie Raitt

Green Light

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
April 15, 1982

The good news first: Bonnie Raitt plays more guitar on Green Light than on any album in years, the band boasts a "live" feel that makes the rock & roll cuts really kick, and the record contains one of Raitt's very best performances. Eric Kaz' "River of Tears" begins with a majestic, rolling hook uncannily reminiscent of the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice," while the lovelorn lyrics stir Raitt's singing to a passionate yearning. She's joined on the choruses by Richard Manuel's urgent harmonies, and her own spicy slide-guitar playing adds snap. "River of Tears" peaks with a couple of piercing notes as wrenching as any Raitt has ever sung.

Alas, as with each of Bonnie Raitt's previous albums, the brilliant moments on Green Light have to compete with uninspired song choices and routine performances. The Equals' "Baby Come Back" and NRBQ's "Me and the Boys" are decent enough numbers, but they could be sung by anyone, and the self-consciously punky title track could pass for Sue Saad and the Next. These cuts stall the record's momentum, diffusing the high points and ultimately preventing it from being the event it should be.

It's sad and frustrating that Raitt — a great singer, a fine guitarist and one of the most appealing performers in the business — has never made an LP that's lived up to her potential. Her earliest albums, sparsely produced and largely acoustic, came closest to capturing the genuineness that's her biggest charm. But as the artist started trying to balance her folk-blues-pop repertoire with front-line rock & roll, she began drifting from producer to producer and her records became less focused and less original. The $64,000 question: why can't Bonnie Raitt be real and rock out at the same time?

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com