The first number of times I heard “Valtz De Mon Pere” I was sure I was listening to one of the most classic love songs I had ever heard, a folk song from long ago: “Our grandchildren will know us/Because they’re made of our hearts.” It’s a brilliant love song and it’s followed by the stubborn, in-your-face, Mississippi/New Orleans sound of “J’ai Connais Pas,” a song that completely contrasts with it. There‘s a definite balance to this album, and a depth as well.
Jones, using much more of the range of her voice than she did on 2012’s minimalist The Devil You Know, has created an amazing album. The Other Side of Desire is her best album to date, no probably about it.
Can Rickie Lee Jones Have a Hit in 2015?
Potential hits include the opening track, “Jimmy Choo,” as well as “Haunted,” “Blinded by the Hunt,” and “Feet on the Ground.” It’s an album loaded with wonderful songs and most are quite different from those Rickie Lee Jones’s original audience would expect from her. They will be in for a pleasant surprise when they find her again. Her music has matured beautifully and her voice has a depth of feeling to it that was only hinted at in her debut in 1979 and her hit “Chuck E.'s in Love."
Her poignant mention of her voice on “Christmas in New Orleans” ("I still can’t recognize this sound my scars make when I sing")is the ultimate moment of self criticism and an illustration of the focus artists take when you praise their creations, pointing out miniscule flaws that are unnoticeable to the audience. In Rickie Lee Jones’s case it may be recognition of a life lived and a new voice, that is—if scarred—beautiful for sure.