Pearl review by Janis Joplin

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  • Released: Jan 1, 1971
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 10 (9 votes)
Janis Joplin: Pearl

Sound — 7
As much as I love Janis, as well as the sound that comes out of her, I can be a little more critical when it comes to her choice of instrumentalists. Big Brother, of course, made Janis. And then she took a turn for the worst when she left them high and dry for the Kozmic Blues Band. With Full Tilt Boogie, I think she produced a great sound but still lost the magical tone she had with her first band. Some songs, of course, sound amazing. In Move Over, her voice captivates you but the guys in the background are slightly over powering. ry Baby is what caused me to fall in love with her. Her voice, the music, the entire sound of the song ceases to amaze me. While singing A Woman Left Lonely, you can feel her pain and devastation. Not in love with Janis? Listen to this song and you will be. Half Moon stuck out of the album like a sore thumb due to all that was going on at one time. Right up there with Move Over, but still, not as good. Buried Alive In The Blues remained an instrumental due to her unexpected death. My Baby, Trust Me, and Get It While You Can were all amazing, sounded wonderful, there's nothing left to critique. Mercedes Benz and Me and Bobby McGee can go unspoken for as far as I'm concerned. There's not a whole lot you can say about something so magical. Tell Mama ended Pearl with more of that busy, too-much-is-going-on-in-this-song sound. But hey, you gotta like it cause it's Janis. So I guess you could say the sound was great, save for a few minor songs.

Lyrics — 10
I don't think I really need to comment at all on her singing skills. If you have ever heard Janis's voice, then you know for yourself. "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose." Is only one line among many that seem to stick out in my mind. All of her words are beautiful, her voice even more so.

Overall Impression — 10
Pearl was in the making during Janis's untimely death in October of 1970. Some of the original recordings were used, one song was even left an instrumental. Had Janis lived to see it released, she would have known that Pearl would be, by far, the greatest of her three albums, and she would have gone on to even bigger and better things, I do believe. The album is my personal favorite for the simple fact that it contained her greatest songs. Also, Pearl went on to be one of the greatest albums ever produced by a woman, according to some book I read way back when. If you don't already love her, buy this album, listen to it, feel it, and she will be your new best friend.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I love this record. I'm convinced that Janis invented grunge, decades before its time. Her unhuman voice is one of the most recognizable and memorable of all time. Though I love this album, I have to say that her best work is her cover of Gershwin's "Summertime", which she first recorded with BBAHC, and later recorded live with Jimi Hendrix.