Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Similarly Requested CDs
At the heart of the matter
T. Norton | key west | 03/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's easy at first blush to be quite disappointed with this effort. After all, it came as the follow up to the just-hip-enough "Reputation" album.
Dusty was sitting pretty, even after EMI had opted-out for another album. Colombia's Kip Krones took the bull by the horns and saw to it that Dusty was signed and a project was undertaken to reveal the other side of Nashville songwriters and musicians. This is an interpretive project undertaken by perhaps the finest interpretive singer of the Rock era.
Problem is, it's focus isn't quite understood by it's producer. Where we should be getting no-nonsense jam-sessions and minimalist beer-hall renditions of some of Nashville's finest, we get bloated "jazz-light" arrangements oversweetened with extra helpings of "acoustic processing". I suspect they were trying to make the album "shimmer". I'm left with a bad metallic taste in my mouth...
At the heart of the project are some of the finest musicians to ever grace albums cut in Nashville OR LA. Chief example is Dann Huff, axeman extraordinaire. You may not know his name by heart, but start looking through your album collections for the session players and he'll become familiar enough. Huff's work truly shines and, if one is blessed with intense powers of concentration, a sort of dialogue between Dusty's phrasings and Huff's riffs and solos starts to become clear. Too bad it gets muddied with some truly aweful keyboard parts. Ironically, the one part on the album I should really despise (a Kenny G. inspired sax solo in "Go Easy on Me")is actually a moment i treasure on the album. It's cheesy at first blush, but it's played with just enough sensitivity to carry the bridge of the song and elevate a world-weary Dusty's plea for minimum nonsense and maximum TLC. Someone once said that "sometimes cheese is Brie" and I guess that's how I feel about that sax solo. I feel strongly that "Go Easy on Me" is really the heart of the album, it's honest, simple and yet requires quite a bit of talent (and hard-earned wisdom) to sing convincingly. Luckily, that's right up Dusty's alley and she delivers.
The other high points for me were the kick-off track "Roll Away" (I was so glad when Simon Bell confirmed it as her favorite, it's mine too), "You are the Storm", and "All I Have to Offer You is Love". "Roll Away" has become a sort of unofficial swan song for Dusty (helped along by the "Full Circle" video, where it closes the documentary). It's a song of spiritual resignation: the kind one might have at the end of a life, but also the kind one might find at a new beginning. There's no doubt Dusty sang it as a joyful song, and to these ears it will always be that and that alone. I find the well-lived-in "You are the Storm" to be just the kind of observation Dusty might make at her age and with many battlesome relationships(personal, professional, and likely within her own psyche as well) behind her. I have no doubt whatsoever that she was singing it from both sides of the story. I certainly hear both sides when I listen to her version, and it's got a righteousness that is just undeniable - and the tenderness that comes through in Dust's reading is something we don't find in our run of the mill country numbers these days.
Much is made of Dusty's aging instrument and the fact that she was perhaps too ill to have been recording. All I can say is, even with hoarser than expected pipes, Dusty's phrasing alone would carry any project artistically: in some ways I think she was the Billie Holiday of Rock. If Colombia would get an edgier producer to strip down these arrangements and let that earthy vocal be the moving force it truly is, perhaps others would start to see such comparisons as well.
Not every song here is worthy of attention, but I promise at least four that you will find yourself growing into as you get older. If one has limited energy, one starts spending less of it trying to be hip and more of it trying to be eloquent.
Eloquence in song is Dusty Springfield's eternal legacy. I think songs, songwriters, and singing were her most profound love. A Very Fine Love indeed!"