No forced lyrics or quasi-poetic phrases here, just honest to the core rock 'n roll deeply embedded in American roots music. The Hard Way is built on the foundation provided by her great touring band, Rebel Montez, and features special guests and friends G.E. Smith (former leader of the SNL Band), Andy York (John Mellencamp), Leon Pendarvis (SNL Band, Blues Brothers Band) and others.
Produced by Thomas "Doc" Cavalier
Photography by Edie Baskin
Stylist: Linda Castillo
Design by Patrick Duffy for Attention, Toronto.
I'm yours, body and soul
heart to heart
released from space and time
united forever in love
You have given me so many pieces of you
I could never repay all the times we've made
love as deep and wide as the world outside
Sure it's rough out there, but we don't care
When I give myself to you, right now
When you give yourself up for love
People will talk forever about our love so fine
all the thrills we knew; I still want you
Let them talk about us in the world outside
for the vow we take, the promise we make
I will give myself to you right now
Will you give yourself up for love?
The Hard Way is by Christine Ohlman, and the first thing you notice is her tough, rousing, sexy voice. The second thing you notice is that she can write songs with booming choruses you want to sing along with the first time you hear them. The third thing you nice is that she's on this really small label (did the majors give up on blues rock?) and deserves a bigger audience.
Playboy (Dec. '95)
Christine Ohlman - The Hard Way
By Cub Koda
Is Christine Ohlman a big star yet? No, but she sure oughta be. She's best known as the bleached blonde beehive singer with the Saturday Night Live band and on this, her long overdue debut album, she steps up to the plate and delivers a true home run. Like the R&B icons from whom she learned her stuff, Ohlman writes and sings about love, love, love; bad and good, sweet and sour, and reveling in every hot sweaty moment of it. There's a distinctly female point of view to this record without putting the men folks at arms' length and therein lies much of Christine's appeal; she's sexy without being threatening.
Everything on The Hard Way works simply because this is a guitar driven rock'n'roll album with a big ol' heart. You can simply hit shuffle play and come up with a winner every time, but major highlights include the seductive slip'n'slide of "Sugar Melts," the confident ballad "Edge of the World," the radio ready hit "A Shot Of You," one of the best versions of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around" and "Then God Created Women," where Ohlman spits out the hook like Tina Turner fronting the Rolling Stones, making it the epic moment of the album and a rockin' delight. If roosty, shrieky femme singer albums loaded with tired retreads of old soul material have got you down, here's where you go for a much needed lift. It is now time to get hip to Christine Ohlman: musical treasures like this don't come along very often.
CD Review ('95)
Andrew's Crazy Over Christine
by John Clarke
When Ex-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Ohlman calls you to tell you how wonderful an unknown American girl singer is - then you take notice.
After all, this is the man who once took a full page ad out in the music papers at his own expense just to tell the world what a great record "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers was.
And he could be on the right track again with Christine Ohlman, a blue-eyed blonde with the vocal talents of Bonnie Raitt crossed with Janis Joplin.
"I first met and was knocked out, as I continue to be, by Christine and her producer Thomas ' Doc' Cavalier 20 years ago when I lived in Connecticut," he said last week. "I have no interest in her other than love and respect," he added.
And with songs on her album The Hard Way (Deluge) like Edge Of The World, A Shot Of You and the bluesiest version of Love Is All Around you're ever llikely to hear, you can see why it's a respect that she deserves.
The only shame is that until some enterprising UK label can pick up the rights, the record is only available on import.
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Last Update: June 21, 1996 12:15 PM