One of the most-loved singers of our time, Jennifer Warnes, has returned with a modern-day masterpiece called Another Time, Another Place. The album reunites Warnes with her co-producer and great friend and collaborator Roscoe Beck, the long-time musical director and bass player for Leonard Cohen. It's the same partnership that made the landmark 1987 album Famous Blue Raincoat. With glorious production and performances, and of course, impeccable vocals, Another Time, Another Place features the cream of the crop of songwriters including Eddie Vedder ("Just Breathe"), Mark Knopfler ("Why Worry"), John Legend, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks and more.
Joining Warnes are brilliant musicians and friends such as Dean Parks (Steely Dan, Bob Dylan), pedal steel king Greg Liesz (k.d. lang, Eric Clapton) and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Sting). Jennifer Warnes has always been known as someone who makes beautifully crafted records with an open heart, unafraid to show emotion and love through her work. It's the perfect time for Another Time, Another Place.
I had a series of losses, Warnes says. Horrible losses. Many in a row. It shook me up quite a bit. My mother was my significant other person, and went all over the world with me, and was the one who believed in me. She died in 2001. In 2013, my two sisters died a week apart unexpectedly. Then my manager was hit and run, and died instantly, close to the death of my two sisters, and then I put my dog down. Then Leonard Cohen died.
Perhaps not coincidentally, its Roscoe Beck producer of Famous Blue Raincoat and Cohens musical director in his final years who acts as Another Time, Another Places co-producer, helping the 71-year-old find a way to express her sadness.
It wasnt purely despair at her own losses that, for the first time since The Well, provoked Warnes formal return to the studio or, more accurately, Becks kitchen, where they had to turn off the air conditioning and fridge to record. She also had more altruistic reasons.
The depth of pain, she explains, that a person goes through at certain chapters of their lives is
Her voice trails off before she again tries to explain her motives.
You cant really share that, but I felt I could make a record that would offer comfort to people going through stuff similar to me. It was really important and intentional to make a tender record. The world is in such distress, so the sound of a womans voice being tender in a recording that could be sent all over the world that was clean, clear, wise and enjoyable might help. It would help me to do it, and it would help others to do it, so you feel that it delivers some kind of sanity. Thats a good thing to give to somebody.
In my younger years, she adds, sipping white tea, you wanted to give them a sexier feeling. You wanted to give them a Tear The Door Down feeling. At this time of life, it was like, Oh my God, theres so many suffering people! I dont have one friend that doesnt have something going on in their lives. So whats my job? If you take that little CD and it fills an hour of your time, it ought to make you feel something. It ought to cure something. Who wants a goody two-shoes record that makes you feel unreasonably happy in a world like this? That was the question I asked myself: What does it mean to make music that helps others?
It's hard to believe she could have succeeded better. Another Time, Another Place boasts rare poignancy, unfiltered vulnerability and genuine compassion: a feminine counterpart, one might say, to Johnny Cashs final releases. Its skeletal arrangements and refined production reveal Warnes extraordinary sensitivity, something underlined by its opening song, a startling cover of Pearl Jams Just Breathe (from 2009s Backspace). Its selection, suitably, was provoked less by an urge to surprise people than for its sentiment, which encapsulates much of what makes the record so special. Yes, I understand, Warness warm voice trembles, every life must end, before adding Im a lucky one, to count on both hands the ones I love.
The rest of the album is equally wistful, whether John Legends delicate Once I Was Loved, in which she forgives a woman interacting with her former lover, or the elegantly laidback The Boys And Me, which she co-wrote with Michael Smotherman a songwriter and touring member of Captain Beefhearts band or the reassuring Why Worry, penned by Mark Knopfler for Brothers In Arms.
• Tri-fold mini-LP jacket
- Just Breathe
- Tomorrow Night
- Once I Was Loved
- So Sad
- I See Your Face Before Me
- I Am The Big Easy
- The Boys And Me
- Back Where I Started
- Why Worry
" Warness voice, warm and unfussy, sounds as natural as ever." - Sunday Times Culture
"(Warnes voice) is as mellifluous as ever the entire outing is a delight" - Artsdesk.com
"Luscious and lustful, considered and compassionate . sophisticated arrangements and her reliably fluent and emotive readings get right to the heart of the songs" - Daily Mirror
"A revelatory reminder of how seductive Warnes voice is" - Classic Pop
"Leonard Cohens Oscar garlanded singer sounds terrific." - Mojo
" (an) enchanting collection" - Uncut
" the work of a master interpreter who rarely fails to engage with the source material while imbuing it with her own personality Grief and bereavement may have contributed to her absence from recording studios, but Warnes has returned in brilliant form, her beautiful voice a balm for others experiencing loss." - Record Collector
"A crystalline work featuring the Anaheim-born Warnes interpreting songs by Pearl Jam, Mark Knopfler, John Legend and others, "Another Time ..." serves as a reminder of the skills she displayed on "Famous Blue Raincoat," her acclaimed album of Leonard Cohen songs." - LA Times
"If it took Warnes a long time to commit to making an album again, the clarity and confidence of her performances on Another Time, Another Place validate her decision with style and grace." - Associated Press
"(Jennifer) still closes proceedings like a nightingale ... a revelatory reminder of how seductive Warnes' voice is when she reins things in." - Classic Pop, May 2018