Picks and Pans Review: Breaking Silence

updated 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/30/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Janis Ian

On this, her first album in more than a decade, the performer and songwriter displays the same wisdom that she first revealed on her hit about an ill-fated interracial romance, "Society's Child," in 1967, when she was just 15. From "Tattoo," an unnerving portrait of a Holocaust victim, to "Some People's Lives," a breathtaking love song, Ian shows an understanding of basic human emotions all too rare among songwriters—young or old.

Whether discussing her artistic quests ("Walking on Sacred Ground") or her generation's sociopolitical currents ("Guess You Had to Be There"), Ian uses her intimate vocal style to get under your skin and her keen sense of wordplay to get into your thoughts. (Morgan Creek)

From Our Partners