Janis Ian - The Light At The End Of The Line [LP]
The Light at the End of the Line is Janis Ian's first album of new material in 15 years, and is also her last solo studio recording - a "swan song," she notes.
The Light at the End of the Line bookends a kaleidoscopic catalog that began with her 1967 self-titled debut at age 15. The songs are intimate portraits of getting older but wiser ("I'm Still Standing"), of knowing when to stand up and not take any more shit ("Resist"), of celebrating life's fleeting beauty ("Swannanoa"), of exalting in your true identity ("Perfect Little Girl"), of paying homage to a lifelong hero and her demons ("Nina", as in Simone). The Light at the End of the Line feels like a victory lap for an artist who has nothing to lose and nothing left to prove. You hear that in the risks Ian took in both her lyrics and the inspired production choices.
"I love this album," Ian says. "There is an element of, 'This is the absolute best I can do over the span of 58 years as a writer. This is what I've learned.' And I realized that this album has an arc, and I've never really done anything like that before."
The Light at the End of the Line showcases Ian's always incisive lyrics, her canny ability to call out the injustices in our world, to advocate resistance, and to overcome them, and her tender, evocative ways of writing intimately of the love that moves her heart. Even if Ian is stepping off the train of touring and making albums, her light will continue to shine brightly through this collection of illuminating lyrics and enduring music.
Wonderfully rich swan song from legendary songwriter.
The beauty of her songwriting is in its simplicity and ability to deliver deep emotions, and here she delivers both.
If The Light at the End of the Line is indeed Ian's final release, she retires on elevated ground, affirming her stylistic and perspectival legacies while exhibiting once more how she has continued to evolve artistically and, more importantly, as a human being.
- Vinyl LP
- I'm Still Standing
- Wherever Good Dreams Go
- Perfect Little Girl
- Dancing With the Dark
- Dark Side of the Sun
- Summer In New York
- The Light at the End of the Line
- Better Times Will Come
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