David Browne
April 06, 1998 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Fundamental (Music - Bonnie Raitt)

Current Status
In Season
Bonnie Raitt

We gave it a B

Give Raitt points: Even she knew she was in a rut. On her first new album in five years, she?s recruited avant-mainstream producers Mitchell Froom and Tchad Blake, and together they?ve concocted music that?s sparer and tauter than the smooth grooves of her last few discs. Her rendition of Willie Dixon and J.B. Lenoir?s ?Round & Round? is raw and murky?call it art blues?and ?Lover?s Will? reveals Raitt?s still the best interpreter of John Hiatt songs. Unfortunately, while her voice remains a marvel of the aging process, Fundamental is hampered by pleasant but slight melodies. Note to Raitt: Writing is fundamental too.

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