rickie lee jones – pirates (1981)

‘Pirates’ thrills because of a rich voice, intricate arrangements, and the range of emotions evoked. The balladic, Disney-esque closer feels galaxies away from track two (which mentions a character named ‘cunt-finger Louis’).  Jones’ great strength is in binding a spectrum of images and stories together with the same string, so that her best records resemble a decadent bouquet. It’s a beautiful way to construct an album—one that exemplifies artistic freedom derived from a deep core. This is unmistakably an 80s record and aspects of the production have aged like a gimmick; it nonetheless rises up with a human, soulful presence that offers profound scope into multiple lives. 

26/30

A favourite: ‘Living It Up’

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