Review: Bonnie Raitt, ‘Slipstream’

Review: Bonnie Raitt, ‘Slipstream’: Aidin Vaziri | Bonnie Raitt’s first album in seven years comes after a period of personal upheaval in which she lost her parents, brother and best friend. Most songwriters would have wilted under the weight of tragedy, but the nine-time Grammy winner handles it with typical grace, channeling the angst in low-slung blues and lending her full-throated voice to a set of covers and originals that by turns reveal anguish and elation. Her version of “Million Miles,” one of two tracks selected from Bob Dylan’s “Time Out of Mind” album, is a natural centerpiece, playing up the song’s deep blue moods in choppy guitar jams. She redrafts Gerry Rafferty’s 1977 pop hit “Right Down the Line” as a light reggae tune with a Hammond B-3 pumping through, while album co-producer Joe Henry contributes a plaintive song co-written with Loudon Wainwright III called “You Can’t Fail Me Now” (the latter performed it on the soundtrack of, yes, “Knocked Up”). For Raitt, this time around, it could be a calling card: “Dark throws sparks against my house/ The stain of love’s a smudge upon my brow.”

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