Home – Joan Osborne – Love And Hate (eOne)

– Joan Osborne – Love And Hate (eOne)

Boxx Magazine | Joan Osborne – Love And Hate (eOne)

Sunday 27th December 2015,


Joan Osborne – Love And Hate (eOne)

Brett Aaron Marlow April 21, 2014

Overall Score


joan osborne love and hate

That’s the one thing about music—the subject of love never gets old, but the stories always change on how it’s told. Joan Osborne knows a thing or two about the subject matter—she’s sung about the heights and depths of this never black, never white emotion we all so one day hope to understand in her 20-plus-year career. While her music has focused heavily on soulful covers of blues, jazz and funk staples, her choice of subject matter likewise was never deprived of a tear or heartache (just check her cover of “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” that will surely bring you to your knees).

It’s been six years since an album of Osborne’s featured original material. (We told you she loves those covers.) Her last album, 2012’s Bring It On Home, even brought her another GRAMMY nomination. But, in the background, the “One Of Us” famed singer was hard at work on Love And Hate, released April 8. Gone may be the days of her grit, twang and polished rock Relish licks like “One Of Us,” “Right Hand Man” or “St. Theresa”—she admittedly abandoned the mom-pop path long ago—but damn does maturity sit well with her.

Explored in the 12-track album is an unconventional lyrical approach that describes the many facets that envelop a relationship, from its corner-to-corner smiled beginnings to its once fervent, but now burnt-out passion. In one of the album’s strongest cuts, “Work On Me,” Osborne described her fresh love as: “The way a whiskey tingles downward/The way a storm can boil the sea/The way the summer makes everybody younger/That is how you work one me.” If your pants aren’t already off, ours are. Her last original album, 2008’s Little Wild One, also served as a lyrical ode to her now-home, New York City, packed with architectural imagery and idioms—but her new album’s unique approach continues to show her strengthening storytelling abilities.

Osborne does introduce a less soulful sound on this album, yes, but the beat and rhythm of what’s now to be her signature style cannot be denied or subdued in the album’s best tracks like “Where We Start” and “Mongrels.”

Just like the relationship she outlines in the disc, the album has its highs and lows that both lend more mystery and favor to the cinematic backing of lush string ornamentation. Signature style tracks like the funky “Kittens Got Claws” and “Keep It Underground” are the high points whereas pepped0up rock tracks and the lead single “Thirst For My Tears,” seem ill-placed in such a purposefully unhurried record.

By the end, you’ll be seeing love just as Osborne has planned it—from new angles, new thoughts and with an optimistic, longing heart for not only where we start, but where the heartache will end.