CD Cover Rickie Lee Jones

Review by Darren Kerr

45-second excerpt from "Road Kill" (various formats)

The girl has gotten weird. Rickie Lee Jones has moved miles above the easy California folk-rock of "Chuck E's in Love" and has boarded the trip-hop space shuttle.

Put in the context of sparse, fractured beats and flourishes of electronic cloud-piercing, Jones' sing-song voice is so vastly out of the place that the initial effect is jarring. I won't mince words: the whole thing is a mindfuck. Cellos, guitars and cold robotic machinery form wounded friendships in a halcyon neighbourhood. Lyrically, things take on a supernatural bent, with spirits, visions, manifestations -- like someone let Shirley MacLaine loose in Portishead.

It's all layers of calm, spooky, strange -- but it works. This album should be listened to loud, at night, on drugs. You could also enjoy it quietly on Sunday mornings, straight as milk, but the eyelid movies just wouldn't be as good.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on September 19, 1997

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