Bonnie Raitt, ‘Just Like That…’: Album Review

Bonnie Raitt has not been spared by the pandemic, losing friends and mentors in lonely deaths. His 21st album either. COVID obscures most things in Just like that … , even love songs. Sometimes it’s a hunter stalking his prey. At other times it simply deepens our understanding of the temporary nature of this life. “I don’t think we’ll be back like we used to,” Raitt sings on “Livin’ for the Ones,” one of four originals from this self-produced album.”No need to try to measure the loss.”

Among those losses was John Prine, whom she deeply cried before starting to work on this first LP since 2016 Dig deep. Raitt also covers “Love So Strong” by Toots and the Maytals, including frontman Toots Hibbert also dead after suffering from COVID-like symptoms.

Just like that … is not a themed disc, however. Elsewhere, Raitt tackles more typical subjects like love gone wrong (“Made Up Mind”, the first single with Brothers Landreth), love found (“Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart”) and love long gone (“Blame It on Me”). The title track, another moving original from Raitt, follows a man to the doorstep of a grieving mother who blames herself for her son’s death – then finds solace when she finds the stranger received his heart during a transplant.

A Locked World had nevertheless stopped spinning at the start of these sessions. You Can’t Help But Hear The Silence Surrounding Raitt As She Admits During “Blame It On Me” That Time Has “poured like sand between your hands and mine.” Like it or not, a traumatic time takes on meaning and meaning through discussions of our inevitable frustrations (“Waitin’ For You to Blow”) and our ungiven goodbyes (“When We Say Goodnight”). .

Yet this record never falls completely into obscurity, and it’s a tribute to Raitt’s skills as both an underrated songwriter and performer. They are stories of acceptance, stories of resilience – presented in a much more direct way than the elegant projects produced by Don Was like those of 1989. Just in time and 1991 Luck of the draw.

Instead, Just like that … unfolds as a powerful testimony not only for those who are gone, but also for those who remain steadfast. “I live for those who didn’t survive, shot through no fault of their ownRaitt adds on the Stones-y “Livin’ for the Ones.”If you ever start bitching and moaning, just remember those who’ll never feel the sun on their face again.”

The LP’s close “Down the Hall,” a handpicked Prine-esque character study, puts it all into perspective.

Raitt was actually inspired by a much older report about a convicted murderer who sought salvation late in life by becoming a prison hospice worker. Yet his reasoning, through his words, takes us right back to the most indelible of COVID-ward images: “The thought of those guys going out alone“, sings Raitt.”It hit me somewhere deep.”

Just like that … will do it too.

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