Bonnie Raitt

Home Plate

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Homeplate takes Bonnie Raitt even further down the path toward mainstream production than the unjustly maligned Streetlights, but, ironically, it works better than its predecessor. Perhaps that's because producer Paul A. Rothchild has helped Raitt craft a record that's unapologetically pitched at the mainstream, where Streetlights often seemed to be torn between two worlds. The great thing about that is, regardless of the production, the essentials of Raitt's music have not changed. It remains a wonderful hybrid of American music, built on a thoroughly impressive set of songs, all delivered with Raitt's warm, expertly shaded, and undeniably sexy singing. She's such an accomplished singer, she sells these songs through productions that are much slicker than those that graced her earlier records, plus with a supporting crew of studio musicians. This production will undoubtedly dismay listeners that just like the earthiness of Give It Up, but Homeplate is still a success because, even though the recording is glossier, Raitt and her music remain the same and, if you're looking for that, it's still irresistible.

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