Just Like That

Bonnie Raitt

Unsurprisingly, having something meaningful to say—the crux of Bonnie Raitt’s legendary 50-year career—underpins her 21st album. Its title, a clip of a song lyric, references how, in our uncertain times, life can change, “just like that.” The 10-time Grammy winner tackles some flesh and blood topics. “Livin’ for the Ones,” an elevating eulogy to the recently departed (“the ones who didn’t make it”) and the funky “Waitin’ For You to Blow,” an addict’s mocking of recovery’s “fickle beast,” are salient examples. My favourite track is her cover of the Bros. Landreth’s love-gone-wrong song, “Made Up Mind.” It’s a microcosm of the elements upon which Raitt’s greatness pivots: propulsive rhythms, emotive vocals, truth in lyrics, bluesy riffs, blissful slide guitar that invariably sings from the sweet spot, and a philosophy that life is a voyage, not a harbour.

-Ken Wright