The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The lyrics for each of the songs on this rock-oriented disc are based on the teachings of Jesus (Christ).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. This is the least polished and crafted recording of Rickie Lee Jones' career, and it stands alone in her catalog. It's a ragged kid in ripped blue jeans singing her heart out to you without drama or falsity. How can it be anything less than a masterpiece?
  2. Ambitious and sprawling, a mud-caked journey to transcendence.
  3. 80
    What if Lou Reed and Moe Tucker joined forces with the Danielson Family? [Mar 2007, p.104]
  4. With every repeat spin, Sermon reveals new truths, divine grooves, and exquisite inspiration.
  5. You want back-to-basics? This is it.
  6. Sermon is not quite as transcendent as some of her earlier work, but it's still vintage Rickie. [9 Feb 2007, p.75]
  7. There are only two or three songs here that seem like they deserve company with Jones’s better work.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. HeleneG
    Jul 16, 2009
    10
    Raw, honest. Jones stripped, lyrics and music. LOVE IT.
  2. PeterL.
    Sep 7, 2007
    10
    This is a heady concept for sure. But this artist, and this work especially, are so what, ahead of their time, so new, so driven by emotion, so musical and emotional in an unmusical and manufactured landscape that who can recognize it's brilliance? This are a great and listener friendly record. All the great reviews cannot express how much you will like it. Improvisations based on the gentle words of the Christ, with the boldness of early Morrison and the musicality of Ms. Jones. Have you met ms. jones? i doubt it, she is never the same girl twice. She deserves a sophisticated audience, that is, people who are compatible with the sweetness and the soulfulness in one plate. flawed, but who's complaining? do we complain that Lou Reed can't sing? NO. we love our icons for what they bring, and with that in mind it would be impossible to give this a two or five. She has brought all she is here, and transcended. She drives home subtle inflection and inference, she totters on absolute beginner innocence while predicting the rise and fall of empires. This is worth any effort it takes to hear it. and if it were not for some person intent on complaining about Jones undiluted music, she would have a 9 here. Expand
  3. GeneS
    Mar 11, 2009
    10
    First of all some of the acoustic (read: no computers) atmospheres would make Brian Eno green with envy. Some of the record is so playful and inspired. It makes me laugh and smile. Some of it is devastating and heartrending. But all of it flies under the radar because the music is so darned engaging and entertaining. I'm inclined to believe "I Was There" is Rickie's greatest post-Pirates era performance. While the record doesn't issue the condemnation the Religious Right rightly deserves, it seems rather to make the point: as a spiritual peoples and collective we are so utterly lost, fumbling in the dark. Perhaps Rickie Lee Jones makes the point that realizing this is the first step toward moving to the light. The Sermon On Exposition Boulevard (a soulful update of a musical theory she explored on the 1997's Ghostyhead), is her most startling record since Pirates and easily earns a place among her greatest work. Expand
  4. Garyd
    Feb 13, 2007
    9
    It could have been preachy and insufferably high-concept. But it's actually pretty affecting. A welcome return to form.
  5. ToddW.
    May 3, 2007
    9
    Inspirational stories sung heavenly by a beautiful soul. What could be better? Very few offerings, it turns out. Rickie Lee has made it difficult for one to follow the arc of her career, but with this she puts her eccentricity aside in producing a masterpiece. All of you social rejects out there who are looking for something worthwhile, this is a great place to start. Makes you wanna holler "Amen." Expand
  6. RudyB.
    Mar 27, 2007
    9
    Inspirational, moving and pentecostal are the effects this had on me. It made me want to read The Words and be as inspired as she appeared to be.
  7. TaniaRochelle
    Feb 16, 2007
    2
    No thanks!

See all 11 User Reviews