Nina Gordon Tonight and the Rest of My Life Covers and Booklet

Do you like how music companies market music made by women?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

There are things that I like about this, and there are a couple of things I don't. Nina Gordon made a great record here. Her songs really hold up. But how she is being presented leaves me wondering if a more artsy presentation that didn't feature her looks so prominently would have been better.

It's not that she isn't fabulously attractive--she certainly is. But that's not what's paramount here--the music is more important than anything. This packaging makes her look like yet another female artist with  thirteen songs to sell. Does the fact that she's posing in sheer clothing, brightly lit to show practically every aspect of her body, detract from the songs or does it show that she has stripped things away to make an honest, clean, naked album? You can choose which version of that you like. I think it is unfortunate that they chose to market her in this way. They made a business decision, and I wouldn't presume to second-guess that decision, but what does that say about the music business in general? That the only way to get people to buy this CD is to hint at some revealing photos inside?

I happen to like the music, so the packaging really isn't of interest to me. I think the cover is perfect. It's Nina Gordon, here's her album, and the title is right there. The full body shots are wonderful, don't get me wrong, but they're selling some other aspect here, especially by putting the more revealing and suggestive image on the back cover. Do we really need the suggestion of full frontal nudity on the inset photo, which has a great smile? Do we really need the hang-it-all-out aspect of the back cover? It doesn't match the front cover at all, which is a wonderfully rendered portrait.

It all comes down to how you feel about this sort of thing. I'm not a prude, or at least, I try to not be a prude, but I don't know if the people who would be sold on something like this would really know what they're getting when they put the CD in the machine. Are they going to get easy listening and music to wash the dishes by? With Nina Gordon, no. They're not going to get that.

So what does the marketing suggest? Again, it comes down to the cover for me, and I think the cover is the strongest aspect of it all. The densely printed green sections, with the lyrics, don't match the packaging at all. Why flowers? Is it because this a girl's record? Is that sexist as well?

You get a hint of where Gordon was going with the first song--Now I Can Die. It's very well done. If I can convince you of anything, give this record a chance.