Bonnie Raitt, "Slipstream" (Redwing Records)
It takes Bonnie Raitt less than a minute into her new album before she belts out these lyrics: "Now you're mystified / Standing with the rest of us / Who used to rule the world." It's a fitting open to her first studio album in more than six years and a not-so-subtle declaration that before big-voiced singers like Kelly Clarkson and Pink, there was Raitt.
"Slipstream" is infused with the blues. Raitt plays her trademark slide guitar on some of the best tracks — from that opener "Used to Rule the World" to the Dylan cover "Million Miles" and another new song, "Split Decision."
Befitting a blues album, nearly all the songs contain the word "love" and feature simple beats that have you bobbing your head and tapping your toes after just a couple listens. Quite a few of the songs were written years ago, after Raitt's last studio album, "Souls Alike."
The nine-time Grammy winner never overreaches with her voice and smartly lets the music breathe throughout. She sounds less interested in turning back the clock to her multi-platinum "Luck of the Draw" days than she does with sharing the wisdom she's gathered in a career that's lasted more than four decades.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: "Ain't Gonna Let You Go" builds from a Raitt guitar solo to a declaration of love in the chorus: "You're not the man that I was looking for / You're every bit of him plus a whole lot more / Now that I gotcha, it feels so good / I don't wanna let you go."