The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard

by Rickie Lee Jones


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/06/2007
Label: New West Records
UPC: 0607396610822
catalogNumber: 6108
Rank: 79389

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rickie 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 Credits

Jim 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

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The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.