tip of the bomb

Daily News, Los Angeles (December, 2001)

Joe Nolan/"Plain Jane" (Joe Nolan)

A singer-songwriter whose dense, descriptive poetry is almost on par with his harmonica idol Dylan and whose street-corner sentimentality turns tuneful circles around Billy Joel, Nolan is an exuberant romantic who rarely allows his lyrical enthusiasm to get ahead of his insights. He can sing about a shipwreck, a likable if undertalented club entertainer or an assortment of flawed but nonetheless adored young women with equal authority and in lovingly observed specifics. He even works a creaky carnival metaphor with witty originality. This is smart folk-pop of the highest order, and it's no small crime that a talent as big as Nolan has to sell the stuff himself. So buy it already, at

4 stars, Bob Strauss

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