Saturday, August 17, 2013

Juice Newton - Dirty Looks

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Dirty Looks, the fifth studio album from country singer Juice Newton. This one charted at number 61 in Canada, number 52 on the US Billboard 200 Album chart, and number 22 on the US Billboard Country chart.

Side one starts off with the title track. “Dirty Looks” on reached number 90 on the US Billboard Hot 100 when released as the second single. This up-tempo, hard rocking number talks about the judgmental looks others have been giving her when she is out at night.

“Tell Her No”, the first single, charted at number 28 in Canada, number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 14 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. Newton altered the song's lyrical gender and point of view (being that she is female) which alters the song's meaning; her version is about another woman trying to steal her man away. The keyboard flourishes gives this one a very distinct 80's sound.

Things slow down a bit with “Til I Loved You”, a tender ballad about coming to the realization of what true love means. The country band Restless Heart covered the song for their self-titled debut album which was released in 1984.

“Keeping Me on My Toes”, with its rollicking rhythm, is next. It has a classic early days of rock ‘n’ roll sound to it.

The B-side to the second single was “Twenty Years Ago”. Backed by piano accompaniment, the lyrics recall a warm, reassuring past growing up in a small town. In 1987, Kenny Rogers had a chart smashing country hit single with his version of the song.

Side two begins with “Don’t Bother Me”. It is full of sass and attitude, complete with a driving, rocking beat and a snarling saxophone solo.

“Stranger at My Door”, the B-side to the first single, charted at number 45 on the US Billboard Country chart. This ballad is about a long-lost friend showing up on the doorstep after so many years of no contact.

“Slipping Away” is next.

“Runaway Hearts” slides back into a more country genre.

The gentle lullaby “For Believers” closes out the album.

Dirty Looks would have languished in the out-of-print bin had it not been for some recent multi-album compilations. It was paired with Newton’s 1985 album Old Flame on a disk in 2007.

I really enjoyed the heavier rock influences on this one. Like on her 1982 album Quiet Lies (click here for that review), Newton again showed her talent could easily cross over from the country genre for which she was most known.

No comments: