C3S8CD13 Picked by Mark Wynn, an ex colleague and still a vinyl purist at heart (even though I think he’s now moving into the digital world!) not sure this will be your bag Mark but hey thanks for the pick.
Ok I get really pissed off with every review of Shelby Lynne that opens with a recount of her tragic life, so if you want to know, go and look it up, but it’s safe to say she has had enough drama in her life to write a thousand songs.
Shelby started a pure country artist releasing a number of straight up country albums and looking every bit the country gal! Her 2000 release I Am Shelby Lynne was a departure for Lynne, call it crossover, call it country soul or anything you want, but it started Lynne on a path that had been walked by Sheryl Crow before her. There is a little bit of me that Shelby Lynne was re-invented by her record company and that Lynne would do anything for success and the cover of Love. Shelby and her delve into Bacharach covers a couple of years ago on Just A Little Lovin’ might back up my thoughts, but what doesn’t usually suffer is the quality of the music whatever Shelby decides to do.
So onto this CD Identity Crisis and I think the title sums it up as Lynne seems a bit conflicted on this release dips between the Sheryl Crow style country rock and her original pure country roots and this makes the album slightly confusing. There is a mix of ballads, honky tonks, and the odd rock ballad and the lyrics are mostly about being in love or being heartbroken sung with a voice as sweet as honey.
The stand out track for me is If I Was Smart, a lament to being in love with someone who isn’t in love with you. It really a beautiful song wrapped in sadness and a vocal that is sweeter than anything Sheryl Crow has ever recorded.
Most of this album is a little bit too close to country for me but there is enough for me to like but a better place to start in I Am Shelby Lynne or Love, Shelby which are classics waiting to be discovered.