Joan Osborne

Breakfast in Bed
Time Life Records

Breakfast in Bed finds Joan Osborne once again reworking classic R&B numbers to varied effect. Icons such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Ain't No Sunshine" should not be trifled with, but trifle she does. And the leprous "Sarah Smile" should likewise be considered untouchable, simply because of its skin-crawling smarm. Elsewhere, though, Osborne breathes red-velvet sensuality the originals never dreamed of into "Kiss and Say Goodbye" and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted," a track she took an earlier swing at on Standing in the Shadows of Motown. These evening-gown arrangements with deep horns rival Van Morrison's best orchestration, while Osborne's spot-on backup singers are so painfully good that they deserve their own outlets. With her signature voice, it's a shame that lesser talents such as Sheryl Crow have amassed the popularity that rightfully belongs to Osborne. The worry is that, hitless since her breakthrough Relish,she'll take the Rod Stewart route and never pen another original. What if Rod was one of us?

 
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