14 April 2009

Pat Benatar - True Love (1991)

After seven albums' worth of radio-friendly, album-oriented rock and a lengthy hiatus, Pat Benatar returns here with a straight-up blues album cut in the company of the purist Roomful of Blues. "True Love" is an unpretentious romp through a set of jump blues, and Benatar has enough of an aptitude for the form to know not to overdo it. She's always sung sassily, but the way she wraps her voice around a song like Bloodshot Eyes -- assisted by a solid shot of reverb -- is a minor revelation. Benatar and guitarist/producer/husband Neil Giraldo swing hard in the company of the five Roomful of Blues horns; her phrasing is spot-on throughout, and Giraldo does justice to his mentors. They rip through numbers by two Kings -- B.B. (Payin' The Cost to be the Boss and I've Got Papers on You) and Albert (I Get Evil). In the middle, they sprint through three originals, including a fast one led by a stride piano (I Feel Lucky) and the slow-burning title track, which comes within a few degrees of Peggy Lee's Fever. "True Love" is a pleasurable comeback album for Pat Benatar, who may have hit us with her best shot when we least expected it.

Bloodshot Eyes
Payin' the Cost to be the Boss
So Long
I've Got Papers on You
I Feel Lucky
True Love
The Good Life
Evening
I Get Evil
Don't Happen No More
Please Come Home for Christmas

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