Mojo (Publisher) - 7/95, p.112
"...[a] powerful and diverse album, reflecting all the folk, blues and jazz that has influenced her on the road to Nashville....[Ian] spares us nothing, whether writing of the intensely personal...or the sadly universal..."
Personnel includes: Janis Ian (vocals, acoustic guitar); John Jennings (electric guitar); Matt Rollings (piano); Willie Weeks (bass); Steve Gadd (drums); Cyro Baptista, Jim Brock (percussion).
Janis Ian's second album of her '90s comeback is slightly more fleshed-out than BREAKING SILENCE, its minimalist predecessor. Courtesy of Mary-Chapin Carpenter producer John Jennings, the sound here is still spare, but there are flashes of instrumental color--electric guitar, Hammond organ, background vocals--not found on the earlier album. If anything, the songs are even stronger than previously, and (as you might expect from the album's title) often angrier.
Ian's newly authoritative grown-up sounding vocals are superb throughout. Some of the songs here ("Ready for the War," "Take No Prisoners") deal with sex in military terms, and "Stolen Fire" is a beautifully written and very adult examination of marital infidelity (she's against it). All is not sturm und drang, however; "The Mission" is a dry-eyed yet almost optimistic story-song about a homeless shelter, and "Take Me Walking In the Rain" is a catchy pure-pop ditty, like an adult version of an old Phil Spector epic.