Picks and Pans Review: Nick of Tim

UPDATED 04/10/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/10/1989 at 01:00 AM EDT

Bonnie Raitt

Not to revel in someone else's misfortune, but it sure is nice to hear Bonnie Raitt having the blues. This elegantly underdressed album includes 11 songs, and on most of them Raitt pours out her heart or tears out her hair—sometimes both. On two tracks she sings accompanied by only one other musician—with jazz-funk pianist Herbie Hancock on "I Ain't Gonna Let You Break My Heart Again" and bassist Chuck Domanico on "Nobody's Girl"—and throughout, the sound is intimate, clear, honest. Two songs are Raitt's; the other composers include such blues rock masters as John Hiatt and Larry John McNally and a mistress of the genre, Bonnie Hayes. The producer is Don Was, whose Was (Not Was) colleagues Sweet Pea Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens sing backup on two tracks. Was's affinity for R&B effects clearly didn't hurt Raitt. A performer whose career has meandered, she sounds very much at home singing of frustration, lost hope and, in the best blues tradition, defiance. (Capitol)

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