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Janis Ian - The Light at the End of the Line

  by Zena Grieg

published: 1 / 3 / 2022

Janis Ian - The Light at the End of the Line
Label: Rude Girl Records
Format: CD


Eclectic and powerful first album in fifteen years from Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian which she says will be her last and proves a fitting conclusion to her unique musical career.

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Janis Ian has released her new album. ‘The Light At The End Of The Line’ is the New Jersey singer’s first album for 15 years and at the age of 70 Ian says it will be her last: “I have created a body of work I am proud of…I’m not calling this retiring, it’s more like rewiring!” The collection is dedicated to “the fierce women who inspired me” and is rooted in American folk and the acoustic song writing styles of the 1970s, the harmony pervading the songs reflecting her current contentment with life, married to her long-standing partner Patricia Snyder. Themes range from female genital mutilation and patriarchal oppression in ‘Society’s Child’, through the malaise of America’s 'absurd, dysfunctional' immigration system in ‘Stranger’, identity in ‘Perfect Little Girl’ (for a friend who transitioned) and surviving the pandemic ‘Dancing With The Dark (This Long Night)’. Highlights of this twelve-track collection include: the opener, the minimalist, reflective ‘I’m Still Standing’; the feminist rock number ‘Resist’ with its scathing lyrics about the subjugation of women: “Put her in high heels, so she can’t run/Carve out between her legs so she can’t come/Get her a dress, for easy access” and its solid defiance: “I will not disappear…. Resist, resist, resist, resist”; and the emotive ballad, ‘Nina’, a beautiful tribute to Nina Simone with its eloquent lyrics: ‘When you hit the mark, you stopped my heart”; the jazz homage ‘Summer In New York”; and the final track, the exuberant, idealistic protest song ‘Better Times Will Come’, where Janis Ian is joined by an all-star cast of supporting musicians including Vince Gill on guitar and Sam Bush on mandolin, against a musical pot-pourri of Celtic harp, saxophone, banjo, trombone and bass. An eclectic album, showcasing her delicate, powerful vocals and strong lyrical prowess, ‘The Light At The End Of The Line’, which Ian will be touring in the USA until November, is a fitting conclusion to an illustrious and unique musical career.

Track Listing:-
1 I'm Still Standing
2 Resist
3 Stranger
4 Swannanoa
5 Wherever Good Dreams Go
6 Perfect Little Girl
7 Nina
8 Dancing With the Dark
9 Dark Side of the Sun
10 Summer In New York
11 The Light at the End of the Line
12 Better Times Will Come

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Interview (2017)
Janis Ian - Interview
American singer-songwriter Janis Ian talks to Lisa Torem about 'The Essential 2.0', her new double CD of remasters which spans her entire career.
Interview (2016)
Interview (2010)
Interview (2009)


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American folk singer-songwriter Janis Ian has just been the subject across two new reissues of three of her albums and a concert performance on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' from the mid 1970's. Lisa Torem assesses her career at the time and both reissues

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Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, 14/5.2002
Janis Ian - Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, 14/5.2002
Lisa Torem at the Old School Town of Folk Music watches singer-songwriter Janis Ian sing highlights from her new album The Light at the End of the Line’ but also drew from seasoned hits on her final tour.


Sacrificial Songs, Samba and Soldiers – To the Sister I Wish I Had (2009)
Janis Ian - Sacrificial Songs, Samba and Soldiers – To the Sister I Wish I Had
In our 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' column, in which our writers examine the personal impact of their lives, Lisa Torem looks at the career and history of singer-songwriter Janis Ian which have drawn several parallels with her own life




The Essential 2.0 (2017)
Fine double CD compilation whch is more than illustrative of singer-songwriter Janis Ian’s impressive 52-year career, as it draws from a variety of genres and explores multiple moods

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