Friday, November 20, 2009

Janis Joplin's "Pearl"

Janis Joplin's "Pearl" is the most recent record to really resonate with me.
I bought it for $1 from a local thrift store a couple of weeks ago and listened to it for about five days straight.
The first side of "Pearl" begins with the strong guitar rifts of "Move Over," which is my second fave jam on the album.
Joplin belts her heart out on the next tune, "Cry Baby."
Her version of "Half Moon" is OK, but it's not touching the funky one done by Chaka and Rufus.
The instrumental "Buried Alive in the Blues" ends side one. Sadly, Joplin was supposed to add her vocals to the track the day she died.
Side two begins with the passionate "My Baby" and continues with the hit "Me and Bobby McGee."
"Mercedes Benz" is a nice a cappella that's kind of ironic, given that the Port Arthur, Texas native drove a Porsche.
My fave track on the entire record is "Trust Me," a ballad about taking time in a relationship and letting love develop.
"...My love is like a seed baby.//It just needs time to grow," belts out a vulnerable Joplin.
And trust is just what I've done in Joplin's music.
Listening to this album has made me a fan of the often troubled singer, who died from an overdose in 1970.
Vice or no vice, there's still something very intoxicating and raw about this album.
The same could be said for Joplin's talent.
Her voice is steeped in blues and soul that's coming from something so real.
Her vocals aren't perfect, they're very raspy but still passionate.
She sung from her gut and it's just so soul-stirring; even gives you goosebumps.
It's evident that Joplin loved blues singers Big Mama Thornton, Lead Belly and folk artist Odetta.
But Joplin also left behind an influential musical legacy of rock, soul and blues.
Singers such as Nikka Costa, Joss Stone and Linda Ronstadt definitely took notes.

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