In Flight (Kill Rock Stars/Custard)
Thu Nov 10 2005
Time Out Ratings :<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5
It's hard to know what inspired Linda Perry to raid her vault. Reviled since the summer of 1993 for tormenting the masses with 4 Non Blondes' inescapable "What's Up"—not to mention an unfortunate fashion statement that combined white-girl dreadlocks, a top hat and goggles—she resurfaced eight years later as a songwriter and producer to pop's leading ladies. By crafting truly great hits for Gwen Stefani, Pink and Christina Aguilera, among others, Perry shed the stigma of being a one-hit wonder and made up for the suffering her former band caused. So why, with her newfound credibility, is she dredging up the past by reissuing her solo debut, 1996's justly ignored In Flight?
Let's hope Perry isn't assuming that fans of, say, Stefani's "What You Waiting For" actually want to hear an album of anguished folk music. Because it's going to be a harsh wake-up call when she realizes how difficult it will be to find an audience for her histrionic, coffeehouse-variety songs. With most of its tracks clocking in at more than five minutes, In Flight finds Perry so preoccupied with gazing into her navel that she entirely neglects to bother with hooks, vocal restraint and lyrics that are anything but clichd—just try not to cringe when, in "Uninvited," she bleats, "I believe in Jesus, does Jesus believe in me?" Heaven only knows the answer, but chances are that few listeners will put their faith in this album as Perry's launchpad to a successful solo career.—Jimmy Draper