True Confessions From Rock Queen Ravan
Music Lover: Tony S
-- December, 22, 2012
Genya Ravan pulls out all the stops on CHEESECAKE GIRL. Strong songwriting, true musicianship, and the voice that has rocked, soothed and awed us for decades are all here on this 2012 CD. Right off the bat, the title track, CHEESECAKE GIRL starts off with a bang with a hard edge of guitars and harmonica, with Genya's rock & roll credentials very evident, as clever lines about famous venues, and a life of being a rock and roll woman made me in awe of her career in music. ANGEL OF THE ODD is a confessional song about a love affair in her TEN WHEEL DRIVE group - what an offbeat title that makes a spellbinding song. COBBLESTONES AND ROLLING STONES is an upbeat ode about her all female rock group GOLDIE AND THE GINGERBREADS living in London & touring with The Rolling Stones, Kinks and other rock legends. It sports a groovy 60's sound with organ & tambourines , not unlike The Gingerbreads records, and makes me wish even more I had been old enough to have seen this group . Lines about the other 3 Gingerbreads - Ginger, Margo & Carol, give this song that added nod to the history that they made. The first three songs alone already make this album one of the strongest albums that she has ever released.
Her memoir, LOLLIPOP LOUNGE , is an amazing book account of her life and career. This album is like the companion piece. Genya's influences are all abound here, with hard rock, blues, R&B, , jazz and even a surprising old C&W influence on a couple tracks [ courtesy of noted musician Eric Weissberg guesting ]. BAD BAD GIRL and BABY I'M DOWN are blues-jazz-rock standouts that really burn up this CD. Songs about her beginning years like LADY OF THE HARBOR, on arriving in NYC after her family fled Poland, and her time spent in a gang in NYC, LET'S GO JACK are as melodic as they are revealing. Even the choice of outside material fits perfectly on this album with I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND being another highlight. Lou Reed's CONEY ISLAND BABY is preceded with a short spoken passage , Lee Michael's DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN rocks harder than his original version and Ian McLagan contributed two strong songs - I WILL FOLLOW YOU and the closing song, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. ROUTE 32 features some humorous lines like " where the men are men, and the sheep are nervous " - about when Genya tended bar way out of the city. It's another Genya Ravan production, with superb arrangements and intricate background vocals, all supplied by the lady herself. While many of her contemporaries are singing standards, playing oldies shows or dead, Genya Ravan is still thriving and releasing vital new music.