Review: 'Just Like That' Another Fine Offering from Bonnie Raitt

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday May 2, 2022

Review: 'Just Like That' Another Fine Offering from Bonnie Raitt

Six years since the release of her last album, Bonnie Raitt's 18th album, "Just Like That...," picks up where her previous two efforts — "Slipstream" (2012) and "Dig in Deep" (2016) — left off, with all three albums sounding of a piece stylistically.

Raitt's soulful vocals and trademark slide guitar are, of course, front and center with electric piano, Hammond organ, and vocal harmonies fleshing out full band arrangements. As usual, Raitt interprets a tastefully curated collection of tunes penned by others (Toots & the Maytals' "Love So Strong") with a clutch of her own equally as strong originals (the title track) thrown in for good measure.

The midtempo funk of album opener "Made Up Mind," a Bros. Landreth cover, moves with a rhythm section in classic Al Green mode. Following suit, "Something's Got a Hold of My Heart," with its evocative 1970s electric piano, would fit very comfortably on Raitt's classic 1975 album "Home Plate."

Raitt honors friends departed, such as late John Prine, on "Livin' for the Ones," a brisk original rocker that takes stock and vows to make the most of each day. The funky strut of "Waitin' for You to Blow," where a recovering addict keeps her demons in check, recalls "Tangled and Dark" from her 1991 album "Luck of the Draw." The plaintive ballad "Blame it on Me" resides in the part of Raitt's catalog that includes other equally as stunning torch songs such as "Too Soon to Tell," "Lover's Will," and "Not 'Cause I Wanted To."

The acoustic guitar-centered "Down the Hall" closes the album and recalls some of Prine's character sketches: A prisoner sent to the infirmary finds themselves "doing things you can't believe, like shavin' Julio's head and crackin' him up while I wash his feet"; and observing the once fear-inducing Tyrone, now brittle and "doubled up in pain, cancer eating him from the inside out." The song probes notions of forgiveness without making grand statements or providing answers.

Overall, "Just Like That..." is another fine offering in one rock's most impressively consistent catalogs.

"Just Like That..." is available now.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.