Album Review: Joan Osborne – Nobody Owns You


While Joan Osborne’s 2020 album Trouble and Strife took a hard look at society and the current political climate and last year’s Radio Waves was a collection of live cuts she’s compiled over the years, her latest, Nobody Owns You, is a much more introspective, and mostly quieter album than her last few offerings.

The album begins with “Should’ve Danced More,” a mid-tempo folk/pop track about regrets of not having enjoyed life more, while the title track, a quieter affair but with a powerful build up, is just as profound lyrically with a strong feminist message aimed at her own daughter.

While musically the album is a little muted and drags a bit at times, there is no denying how strong the songs here are lyrically.  “These songs come from my feelings about people in my family, about people who I care about, and just what to do with this time that we have on the earth,” says Osborne.  “They come from a raw emotional place. And I’m asking myself that question:  What am I here for?”

Among the most powerful tracks is the album closer “Great American Cities,” a clap back to the conservative politicians and their own political media ecosystem that is constantly shitting on the larger U.S. cities, almost all liberal politically. One of the most upbeat songs on the album, it’s a unique perspective that Osborne manages to pull off thanks to her ability to write great lyrics.

Purchase this album.

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