Album pre-view: Shelby Lynne

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slynne_2008.jpgShelby Lynne releases the follow-up to her 2005 album at the end of the month and it’s a tribute to Dusty Springfield.  When I first heard about the project it sounded like a terrific match to Lynne’s vocal qualities.

She’s posted an explanatory note on her MySpace page that tells of her journey to get the album out.  She enlisted producer Phil Ramone as well as recorded in the famed L.A. Capitol Records studios.  

I was prepped to hear a masterful album. 

Her label has only let her put partial tracks up, but what I have heard is a bit too sterile for my personal taste.  Sure Shelby sounds wonderful.  She usually does.  But I wasn’t prepared for what the LA Times accurately calls “spare arrangements.”  Granted, it’s a great way to strip Springfield’s songs down and emphasize the quieter side of the performer, but that felt like a letdown.  That isn’t the way I think of the singer.

The album feels like it was an exercise rather than a celebration.  I really don’t see the need to make “I Only Want to Be With You” so sullen.  It’s way too drastic though it fits with the vibe of the album.  Musically, I think the aesthetics from Camera Obscura’s “Let’s Get Out of this Country” would work 100x better.  It would have been much more mood-enhancing and I think it could have been done without trying to simply copy Dusty’s original recordings.

Lynne has received nods for the sole track she penned on the album, “Pretend” and I still look forward to hearing this track.  The album will be released from Lost Highway on January 29, 2008.

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