Tuesday, January 11, 2005



Genya Ravan's Urban Desire

The intentional and exquisite raw production of Genya Ravan's Urban Desire explores the high voltage newly emerging in cities around the world during the cherished "New Wave" movement in rock. Ravan's production of The Dead Boys "Sonic Reducer" in 1977 helped spearhead the revolution, a charge continued on this, her fifth solo disc after previous careers with the influential jazz/pop ensemble Ten Wheel Drive and the ground-breaking all-girl Goldie & The Gingerbreads before that.1978's Urban Desire is part of an important trilogy of Ravan recordings, including it's sequel - also on Hip-0 Select - 1979's ...And I Mean It and concluding with Ronnie Spector's Siren from 1980 - as much a Genya Ravan record as it is Ronnie's.Two Joe Droukas compositions, "Shadowboxing" and "The Sweetest One", bring to mind The Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers phase. In fact, "Shadowboxing" could nearly be considered the great lost track from the Stones 1972 masterpiece. The Droukas/Ravan team doesn't stop there, though; for "The Knight Ain't Long Enough" is more than a clever double-entendre, it creatively reflects Mott The Hoople during their wonderful Brain Capers period - the moment before Bowie got hold of them - and a style that La David emulated often. Genya also puts dynamics in sequencing the material; "Do It Just For Me" comes off a lot more subtly than the rocking disc-opener, "Jerry's Pigeons." Rock's pioneering lady spins the songs like a disc jockey; "Shot In The Heart" - as with most of the record - adaptable for college or mainstream radio. The Lou Reed duet on "Aye Co'lorado" is just the prescription for anyone who wanted to demolish their stereo every time an Eagles song came on. And to Velvet Underground fans even further, Genya does a Gospel-meets-the-street version of John Cale's superb "Darling I Need You."
If you can envision Deep Purple asking one of the foxiest lead singers from the '70s to come onstage to sing a Supremes tune, you'll have a good idea of how "Back In My Arms Again" sounds with guitars ablaze. It brings to mind the idea of Diana Ross and Janis Joplin as vocalists in Genya's dream-team version of The Supremes - but Janis can't and Diana won't, you'll have to indulge in Urban Desire to fully comprehend life on the edge. Gavin Lurssen's superb mastering will help you do just that.

(C)2004 http://www.joeviglione.com

Did You Know? Genya’s first-ever single featured Spencer Davis and Steve Winwood as backing musicians.



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