Personnel: Dave Darling (guitar, background vocals); Garrett Deloian, Zach Zunis (guitar); Alfredo Ballesteros (saxophone, background vocals); Arlan Schierbaum, Phil Parlipiano (piano); Matt Laug (drums); Brie Darling (percussion, background vocals); Ismael Pineda (percussion); Gary Pinto, Bernie Barlow (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Dave Darling.
Liner Note Author: Janiva Magness.
Recording information: Disco Party Bus West; Studio City Sound, Doghouse.
Editor: Matt Reesing.
Having conquered some of her own personal blues on 2014's potent Original, resilient blueswoman Janiva Magness returns with Love Wins Again, her 11th album. A soulful, gospel-infused meditation on love's power, this confident 11-song set finds the veteran singer operating from a place of strength and happiness. Similar to her last release, Love Wins Again is a mix of well-chosen covers and original songs co-written with frequent producer/collaborator David Darling. In spite of the cover portrait of Magness with a pair of boxing gloves strung over her shoulder, the music feels less confrontational than self-aware, bubbling up from a well of her own inner strength. The title cut's bright groove and gospel backing vocals set an uplifting tone that generally carries throughout the set. There are soulful rave ups like "Your House Is Burnin'," sweet ballads of redemption like "Doorway," and, at her most contemplative, the spare, all-acoustic "Just Another Lesson." Magness' mix of R&B, blues, soul, and gospel flows easily and her smoky, charismatic voice leads the band with ease through another quality outing. ~ Timothy Monger