Monday, January 19, 2009

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

Here's a disk I can almost assure none of you have listened to - except for Jon.

Pat Benatar's Innamorata was released about 12 years ago and is one of the better disks I have in my collection. Honest.

The title is Italian and translates into 'sweetheart' or 'soulmate', but I can't say that all of these songs would fit into that category. Pat can still sing angry when she has to.

I will say that it is some of Benatar's strongest work. Yeah, I like(d) the '80s stuff and it was fun and seemingly it helped define the decade for female artists, but it had a certain shelf-life - not that there aren't songs I still listen to.

But Innamorata was her first disk not on a major label and she and husband/producer Neil Giraldo had more freedom to write and record what they wanted - and it works. The songs are strong, the production is too and Benatar's voice has never been stronger. I think independence agreed with them.

I'm a huge fan of the songs here, especially "In These Times", "Only You", "Strawberry Wine", "I Don't Want to be Your Friend" and "At this Time". Don't get me wrong, the rest of the stuff is fine too, but these listed are the ones that got space on the iPod. Since that device holds a finite number of songs, I had to pick and choose carefully.

Like many of my blog selections, the album underperformed at radio and sales levels. I always seem to pick and root for the underdog, but I've never really been a fan of stuff that is too mainstream. One issue with being a known name on an independent label is that most people assume it is a last grasp effort and if the product were any good, a major would still have you signed. Phooey.

Admittedly, her follow-up to this disk Go, wasn't nearly as good (though I love the title track), but I would suggest you at least sample some of her Innamorata work on iTunes, amazon or the like. You might be surprised.

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