Day After Tomorrow
(Bobolink/Razor & Tie)
A half-century into her career, Joan Baez is still a folkie to be reckoned with, said Jim Abbott in the Orlando Sentinel. The “crystalline” soprano and “unwavering social conscience” that have made her a music legend remain strong on her 24th album. The 67-year-old “seems to have dialed back her powerful vocal delivery,” but this “quieter approach” only reflects the wisdom of age. Produced by Steve Earle, Day After Tomorrow is a “warm, intimate” collection of understated material from artists who share her commitment to the highest quality of songwriting. Baez once again interprets songs—from the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Earle himself—with respect and affection. Baez and Earle form a “fruitful partnership,” said Jody Rosen in Rolling Stone. Her piercing voice has always had a “prophetic sound.” But Earle’s production uses salt-of-the-earth gruffness to counter Baez’s “ethereal tendencies.” He never tries to reinvent her, though, said William Ruhlmann in All Music Guide. Every selection, from Earle’s “Jericho Road” to Waits’ “Day After Tomorrow,” seems planted firmly “in the tradition” of her repertoire. Earle has taken the spirit, the sound, and, most important, the message of Baez’s yesterday and transferred them to today.