Nick of Time

Nick of Time

You might call Bonnie Raitt’s Nick Of Time (1989) one of the great comeback albums of the modern rock era — except that it was more of a feat of rejuvenation than a return from oblivion. Raitt had been releasing so-so albums and generally muddling along through the ‘80s when she switched labels, found the right producer (Don Was) and added more punch to her blues-rock sound. Nick Of Time bristles with new-found energy and sense of purpose. Through its songs, Bonnie speaks for those hungry for a second chance and a shot at true love. Tunes like “Real Man,” “Love Letter” and “Nobody’s Girl” deal with romance in grown-up terms, while “The Road’s My Middle Name” is the declaration of a confirmed free spirit. Raitt sings with poignancy on the ballad “Too Soon To Tell” and extracts sass from sorrow on the reggaefied “Have A Heart.” And, of course, her trademark slide guitar sizzles righteously, especially on “Thing Called Love,” the album’s hit single. In the end, Nick Of Time is a celebration of keeping the faith and hanging on — and the music world is richer for it.

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