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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Bonoff, Karla - 1988 New World
Bonoff, Karla - 1988 New World

ARTIST: Bonoff, Karla
ALBUM: New World
LABEL: Gold Castle
SERIAL: 171-014-1
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2000, Valley Entertainment


LINEUP: Karla Bonoff - vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards * Andrew Gold - guitars, keyboards, programming, backing vocals * Mark Goldenberg - bass, guitars, keyboards, programming * Jerry McPherson, Peter Frampton - guitars * Keith Thomas - keyboards, bass, drum programming * Jennifer Condos - bass * Farrell Morris - timpani * Karen Blake, Wendy Waldman, Kenny Edwards, Tabitha Fair - backing vocals * Ronn Huff - string and orchestral arrangements, conductor

TRACK LISTING: 01 How Long * 02 New World * 03 Tell Me Why * 04 All My Life * 05 Goodbye My Friend * 06 Way Of The Heart * 07 The Best Part Of You * 08 Still Be Getting Over You * 09 Oh Mary * 10 All Walk Alone


A couple of months back, we reviewed Louise Goffin's 'This Is The Place' album. From 1988, I was surprised how good this album was, considering her earlier 70's material didn't do a lot for me. In much the same way, songstress Karla Bonoff also had earlier 70's material, but her 1988 album 'New World' is just simply goregous from start to finish. Born and raised in Santa Monica, Karla is better known as a songwriter, and in her early days, she sang background vocals for the likes of Linda Ronstadt. In fact, Karla's voice has strains of Ronstadt's distinctive style contained within. But prior to that, she was in a band called Bryndle, a band that featured Andrew Gold and had a focus on strong songwriting and multiple harmony vocals, pre-dating the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and the melodious Crosby Stills And Nash. That band were ahead of their time according to Bonoff, and though recording an album for A&M, it was never released at the time. However, they did eventually reform, releasing a CD in 1996. Releasing three albums prior to this one (self titled 1977, 'Restless Nights' (1979), and 1982's 'Wild Hearts Of The Young'), her mix of AC, pop/rock and southern/country/folk is a combination that only the very best can achieve. Karla had a top 20 hit with the song 'Personally' from the 'Wild Hearts Of The Young' album, though ironically, it was not written by her.

The Songs
Just prior to the release of 'New World', Karla was involved with soundtrack work, providing and singing songs on a handful of soundtrack albums. Longtime fans were wondering when she would deliver a fourth album. She duly delivered in 1988, and it's a lovely selection of songs, easy on the ear, plaintive and simplistic, with an emphasis on haunting lyrics and ample melody. The best known song on the album is 'All My Life', which was covered by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville the following year. Other highlights include 'Still Be Getting Over You', the Poco/Eagles new country of 'Tell Me Why', the delicious 'Way Of The Heart' and the very Ronstadt flavoured 'How Long'.

In Summary
Though many of her best songs have been recorded by artists in the country scene (Bonnie Raitt, Lynn Anderson, Linda Ronstadt etc), that's not to say her music is best suited for the Nashville scene exclusively. Listening to 'New World', this is an ambient affair, beautifully arranged songs with plenty of subtle keyboard layers that blend in well with Ms Bonoff's incredible voice. For readers of this site, Ms Bonoff comes highly recommended. I'm now on treasure hunt for all her albums now..

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#1 | Eric on November 25 2009 00:27:58
Nice to see this name here often mixed in the early-mid 70's with people you just don't hear about anymore like David Bromberg, Aztec Two Step and Maria Muldar all in that post Woodstock folk/ pop style popular with the glass block table, milk crate record collection college crowd I caught the tail end of.
#2 | gdazegod on November 25 2009 01:02:28
Haha, since reviewing this, I have picked up two more of her albums on Soulseek, including one from a Japanese guy which took me all of 3 minutes to download. They must have super fast internet connections in Japan!
#3 | Eric on November 25 2009 03:40:31
I still want to pull out my incsence sticks and move on..
#4 | gdazegod on November 25 2009 04:12:55
to where Eric? The astral plane? lol! goodone
#5 | Eric on November 25 2009 17:27:16
Yes, but I've never owned a Grateful Dead album!
#6 | gdazegod on November 25 2009 22:27:15
To be fair, there's nigh on a trace of folk on this album. It's very studio bound, over produced even. Quite lush, and I'm not talking about the numerous bottles of Mulberry Wine they consumed in the studio.. lol!
#7 | jefflynnefan on November 28 2009 00:43:20
I'll give this a try if I come across it. She sounds like that girl that was on Wooden Nickel - Megon McDonough.
#8 | code4 on October 22 2015 21:47:44
Good cd. Largely so different to her older 3 albums (well i suppose 'Tell Me Why' comes close, having a bit of country acoustic vibe to it but that's about it) embracing synthesisers and electronics. My favourite song would have to be the title track while a handful are worth repeated listening.
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