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Monday, December 07, 2009

29 in 2009 - Janis Joplin: "Pearl"

Janis Joplin:  Pearl
Originally Released:  February 1, 1971
Genres:  Rock, Blues
Rating:  7 out of 10

I have a few spare moments on my hand right now.  What better way to spend them than by trying to wrap up this 29 in 2009 series?

First off, I'd like to thank whoever recommended this album.  It's the first album by an artist that died in their prime that hasn't been a complete disappointment.  Believe it or not, I had never heard a Janis Joplin song in my life, with the possible exception of seeing her perform in a Woodstock documentary or two.  She is awesome!

"Move Over" is an awesome opening track, and maybe the perfect introduction to her sound (that's what I'm assuming at least, based off of my brief interaction with her tuneage).  The best track comes next though, "Cry Baby" is just one of the most powerfully sung songs I've ever heard.  Janis' voice is like a gift from god, here; fully displaying the passion and emotion of the lyrics.

"Mercedes Benz" is really the only song on Pearl that needs to be retired.  Sure Joplin's got a great voice, I'm just not sure its suited for acapella performances.  Here it sounds grating and disastrous.  This song is definitely worth skipping.

Overall though, a really good album.  Released posthumously, it really doesn't seem like a quick cash-in by the label.  Janis Joplin really seems like, if she had made some better choices, would still be around today, rocking just as hard as ever. 

Sorry for the short analysis, but as you may have noticed.  Things have been quite busy as of late.

Verdict:  Classic

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