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Traffic from Paradise

Rickie Lee Jones

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Album Review

"Just give me many chances ... time to learn to crawl," sings Rickie Lee Jones on this, her fifth album of new material in 14 years. Clearly, she's had a lot of chances already, and some have paid off big, notably her first two albums, Rickie Lee Jones and Pirates. Here, however, Jones has made a record of what sound like rough performances of musical ideas that might at some point become songs and then, with some work, acceptable recordings. As it is, the record is vague and unfocused, only aspiring to coherence when someone other than the singer/songwriter/producer is heard from, such as on the two songs co-written by Leo Kottke. Too much of the time, Jones sounds like she's singing half-forgotten songs in the calm aftermath of an all-night party, and the result is wispy and fragmentary, even when, on David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel," you know there's a real song in there somewhere.

Customer Reviews

Better than the AMG review

Like the other reviewers, I think thisis much better than the AMG review. I don't think the vocals on this are that much different from other albums she made. I rank this only behind Flying Cowboys among Rickie Lee Jones' albums. Tracks 3 through 7 are excellent. The Rebel Rebel cover is great and Stewart 's Coat is one of the prettiest songs anyone could put out.

trust me

Ok this was the first ricki album i was ever exposed to so maybe I AM a bit biased....but this is truly a beautiful recording - especially Stewarts Coat and Beat Angels. Trust me!


The woman can do no wrong. This is a brilliant, sweet recording. To me, Rebel Rebel is the only tune that seems out of place with the rest of the record.


Born: November 8, 1954 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Once touted as the natural successor to Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones proved no less idiosyncratic or mercurial; like Mitchell, Jones experienced significant commercial success at the outset of her career, but a restless creative spirit — combined with a stubborn refusal to fit comfortably into...
Full Bio

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