Joan Osborne

Little Wild One

“All new original album reuniting the team that created the 6-time Grammy-nominated album Relish!” For even the most casual Joan Osborne fan, that statement, emblazoned on the mauve sticker on the front of her new CD, would be sufficient reason to pick up Little Wild One. Take a deep breath first—Relish it isn’t. While her new album matches the track-to-track consistency of her debut, neither the parts nor the whole reach transcendence. There’s no “St. Teresa,” no “Pensacola,” no “Right Hand Man”; not even a poppy ironic “One of Us.” This time out, the team (Osborne, Rick Chertoff, Rob Hyman, Eric Bazilian) have penned more reverential songs, sung and produced with reverence. Don’t get me wrong, Little Wild One is a fine collection. Click play on the first track (“Hallelujah in the City”) and you’re bound to keep listening through the last (“Bury Me on the Battery”). You just probably won’t ever go “Whoa!” and hit the replay button. OK, now that you’re duly warned: Pick it up, turn it on, and enjoy.