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October 1, 2023

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Bonnie Raitt
Fundamental (Capitol Records)

By: Paula M. Sherman

In stores on April 7th, Bonnie Raitt's new release, "Fundamental", is definitely basic and radical. With a four year break, Raitt comes back with some fresh stuff, she makes some changes and lays back. The sound is still classic Raitt, who has been in the music scene for two decades, she proves that music is still in her blood.

With a new musical team this time around, Raitt gives us a bluesy pop rock compilation with heavy bass, reggae sounds and the amazing guitar work that only her fingers can deliver. Going as far to say that this offering is raw; it's also primal, and sexy. Deep into the explorations of love; love lost, love rekindled, love held and cherished, this may not be the delight of every listener. But the music more than makes up for that in the long run. But Raitt, co-writing this time, gives us some memorable lines from "Meet Me Half Way", like, "I go deeper when you look into my eyes, There's a place where neither one of us can hide, And it's up to us to reinvent the game, Love it when you call my name". But the comical lyric in "Spit Of Love" is her referring to roasting on that spit of love again, "And it's a rage as old as Hades, That'll sputter on these coals". The most potent lyric line in this release is from the first song, "The Fundamental Things", written by Larry Klien, David Batteau and John Cody, that goes, "Howl and tremble in the sleepless grind, Let's do the braindrain, leave it all behind".

Raitt has always brought up love and romance in her music through the years, but this is far and away the most concentrated. Her talent is still as strong as ever, but this release is still different. It's a stretch for her, and she does a great job in these 11 songs. I recommend the purchase of "Fundamental", and I give it a B.

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