WHO IS SHE? The veteran singer-songwriter and former Tom Waits paramour who immortalized fellow L.A. troubadour Chuck E. Weiss in the 1979 boho-jazz chart-topper Chuck E.’s in Love.
WHAT IS THIS? Her 14th full-length and fourth covers collection — much like predecessors Pop Pop (1991), It’s Like This (2000) and The Devil You Know (2012) — boasts an eclectic set list that veers from jazz and cabaret to country and classic rock, embracing artists from Louis Prima and Dean Martin to Steve Miller, Elton John and (believe it or not) Bad Company. Yes, you read that right: Rickie Lee Jones is covering Bad Company. We are through the looking glass here, people.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Hitting shuffle on an iPod full of oddities and deep cuts.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Rickie Lee Jones Sings Every Song Ever Written. Or Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? While shaking your head in disbelief at the depth and breadth of her musical tastes and artistic choices.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Unusual, adventurous, varied, playful, stylish, sophisticated, subdued, dusky, evocative, memorable.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Honestly, there isn’t a dud in the 10-song bunch, from the zippy close harmonies of Nagasaki to the smoky twang of Lee Hazlewood’s Houston, the grim power of Elton John’s My Father’s Gun and the brooding intensity of Bad Company’s eponymous anthem.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘What the heck is this? And is there any more of it?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Most of these tracks can go toe-to-toe with the originals. And Jones’ jazzy drawl only adds to the appeal. You’ll be back.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A BEACH BOYS SONG, WHAT SONG WOULD IT BE? I Get Around. Or maybe I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Pay up or live to regret it. After all, kicks like these keep getting harder to find.