Rickie Lee Jones has always been one of the more mercurial artists in -- or, perhaps more precisely, on the fringes of -- the pop-rock mainstream. That's borne out with stunning vividness on The Sermon on Exhibition Boulevard, a disc that's unflaggingly challenging -- and unfailingly rewarding -- even by Jones's standards. Awash in Christian imagery and cloaked in a lo-fi sound that's reminiscent of the third Velvet Underground album, The Sermon on Exhibition Boulevard goes a long way toward the singer's expressed goal -- reclaiming the Christian faith from fundamentalists -- but it also packs the sort of sonic dexterity needed to fascinate those with no ideological cards to play. As if to hammer home that point, Jones doesn't even bother with lyrics on the wild-as-the-wind folk exploration "Road to Emmaus," which uses an ethereal, Incredible String Band-styled melody as a bed for wordless vocals that range from sweet humming to siren-like cooing. She's every bit as audacious on "Donkey Ride," a purposefully disjointed piece that would be at home on a Joanna Newsom album -- particularly given Jones's dramatic, shaman-like delivery. Not everything on the disc is that demanding, of course. "Nobody Knows My Name" glides along on a hypnotic guitar drone that matches Jones's high-lonesome wail -- and her solitary-woman tale -- with a fascinatingly bleak beauty. She even rocks out here and there: "Seventh Day" carries a good bit of the finger-popping funkiness that characterized her earliest work, while "Blue Cadillac" offers a droll, swinging vision of heaven as a rock 'n' roll dream. Much of The Sermon on Exhibition Boulevard exists in the realm of the dream state, a dominion that Rickie Lee Jones knows as well as any performer out there -- making her the ideal guide to its innermost reaches.
|Label:||New West Records|
Performance CreditsRickie Lee Jones Primary Artist,Dulcimer,Guitar,Percussion,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Tambourine,Vocals,Xylophone,Moog Synthesizer,finger cymbals,Wurlitzer,Bowed Dulcimer,Toy Xylophone
Bernie Larsen Synthesizer,Guitar,Drums,Gut String Guitar
Rob Schnapf Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Jay Bellerose Drums
Joey Waronker Drums
Lee Cantelon Background Vocals
Peter Atanasoff Guitar,Background Vocals,Oud
Jonathan Stearns Trumpet
Pete Thomas Acoustic Guitar
Steve Abagon Guitar
Joey Maramba Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsJim Crichton Engineer
Bernie Larsen Engineer
Rob Schnapf Producer,Audio Production
Doug Boehm Engineer
Lee Cantelon Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
Tom Sarig Management
Peter Atanasoff Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Anna Jacobson Leong Management
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
The new album by Rickie Lee Jones, "The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard," is an incredible new release by a singer-songwriter who is an American icon. Jones has explored many different kinds of music during her 25+ years of recording, jazz, pop, even trip-hop on the rare Ghostyhead album that was released in the mid 1990's. Mojo Magazine (five stars) and other reviewers of the new album feel that this may be the best album Jones has put out. It rocks harder than any previous record, and sounds like a great vinyl recording, bringing to mind the Velvet Underground or The Rolling Stones mixed with a touch of Van Morrison. I think this may well be one of the most important albums of 2007.