Pick of the Week: Bonnie Raitt “Made Up Mind”

Bonnie Raitt, Pick of the Week, Made Up My Mind
Graphics by Ainsley Basic

By T.J. Grant, Staff Writer

Bonnie Raitt’s Just Like That… marks her first album since 2016's Dig In Deep. The leading track, “Made Up Mind,” features the 72-year-old’s masterful guitar playing and relaxed vocal delivery, which comes from decades of practice and a lifetime’s worth of confidence.

Although she didn’t write the song herself (it originally appeared on Let It Lie by the Bros. Landreth in 2015), Raitt sells the song with the convincing argument that she lived through every detail outlined in the lyrics. “Made Up Mind,” a scorching tale of surviving a toxic relationship, describes “the quiet behind a slamming door” in a way that brings the listener into the home itself. 

 

WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THE TWO VERSIONS? 

Raitt makes the words her own with her tone, timbre, and overall performance. The sigh she lets out in the middle of “the break of a heart that won’t break no more” conveys frustration and irritability that’s lived, not learned. While the Bros. Landreth’s version compels listeners to head-bob or even dance in all the same ways, the slightly faster tempo and higher key of Raitt’s take embody a particular sweetness that the original lacks. 

The groundedness of the Bros. Landreth’s original — particularly in the bass and drums — doesn’t let off the same swagger and certainly doesn’t envelop the same groove. Raitt’s syncopation allows a more flexible and equally free-falling, delightful feel. Her phrasing represents a fed-up counterpart of a “love gone wrong” with pauses and inflections. 

Lyrically speaking, her pain prevails, but her playful conviction proves the experience is behind her. She’s simply a vessel of caution and forewarning now, like a stranger at a bar explaining an old breakup with nuance and clarity to a younger crowd. 

 

WHY THIS SONG? 

Bonnie Raitt met the  Bros. Landreth after being “knocked out” by their performance at the 2014 Winnipeg Folk Festival, and once she heard Let It Lie the following year, she “knew she had to cut ‘Made Up Mind,’” she told Rolling Stone.

Raitt’s favorite qualities in music, like a “soulful groove, strong melody and lyrics,” present themselves in the song. If Raitt’s version accomplishes anything, it’s bringing out these qualities and ripening them further into a sweet, fervent pulp. 

 

THE POWER OF PLAYING LIVE

Bonnie Raitt and her band have released an official performance video of “Made Up Mind” in which they play the song impeccably in front of cameras and microphones.

She told Rolling Stone that her and her band wanted to “capture the vibe of the full band performing” because they “couldn’t wait to get out on tour and play this song live.”

Their wishes of playing live more will be coming to fruition from now until November across the country. This includes a local show at Leader Bank Pavilion on June 17th. She’ll have support from artists such as Mavis Staples, Lucinda Williams, and Marc Cohn throughout the tour, and “Made Up Mind” is sure to make the setlist. 

 

Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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