Shelby's new album, Just A Little Lovin', was inspired by one of her favorite singers, Dusty Springfield. The album features nine clasic songs associated with Dusty and one stunning original written by Shelby, inspired by ... more »Dusty.
Shelby's new album, Just A Little Lovin', was inspired by one of her favorite singers, Dusty Springfield. The album features nine clasic songs associated with Dusty and one stunning original written by Shelby, inspired by Dusty.
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The Definitive Collection
I Am Shelby Lynne
"There are two ways this CD could have gone, and thankfully it's not crap. She's taking on Ms. Springfield like a seasoned heartbroken champ (which of course she is). She does it the way it should be done; every song here is sparse, fully realized and void of emptiness.
The major difference between Springfield and Lynne is in delivery, while most of what Springfield does on record is almost a heartbreaking, soulful coo. Lynne's voice is strongly powerful. Songs such as "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," with its acappella, slightly echoed, opening, tricks the ear as if it's going to break out into the loud ripping rendition that it always gets. But Lynne plays it down, turns up regret and conviction in her voice and it's now a country torch ballad.
"Breakfast in Bed" is still a sultry, slippery ode, but Shelby's vocals are so assured, turning the lyrics almost into a demand and it works.
The show-stopper is her take on "Anyone Who Had a Heart." She keeps this song just under a boil, a languid piano, and vocals just above a drawl; it's perfection .. she plays it soft until her voice just soars for a brief moment, before falling back down to heartache, truly showing off the complete vision of this album.
You can see what Lynne takes from her love of Springfield: both women were and still are under-appreciated vocalists who deserve bigger audiences. It takes guts to take on an artist's most definable material and Lynne doesn't flinch once!"
A Quiet Stunner
Mark D. Prouse | Riverdale (Bronx), NY | 01/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As one of Dusty Springfield's biggest fans, I was both excited about and afraid to hear what Shelby Lynne was going to do with some of the songs most identified with the Great Beehived One. It kind of worried me that Ms. Lynne was going to release a "stripped down" production. After all, Dusty is most identified with what she herself called those "big ballady things," huge, Italian-style production numbers with all the stops pulled out, and the singer at full throttle. On the other hand, it was encouraging to hear that Lynne was not trying to imitate Dusty or invade her territory. Dusty, after all, had turned in the definitive versions of these numbers so, according to Shelby, the job was to interpret the songs in her own way, and as a reminder to her listeners of Springfield's neglected catalog. Today, Dusty's music reaches an ever-widening circle of discerning listeners, and is being rediscovered by old fans and revealed to younger pop music lovers. Yet, for all the burnishing of Dusty's legend, she remains a woefully underexposed musician, often still relegated to the "Oldies" bin in CD stores. Unfortunately, this may because only a handful of her songs ever get heard and are, strangely, somewhat OVER-exposed. About a dozen of her biggest hits get endlessly recycled, while only her die-hard fans know the rest of her 300-plus-song library.
Perhaps the funny name, the cartoon make-up and hair, and the flamboyant ultra-feminine costumes did her in, and without the songwriting talent of say, Dolly Parton, she was not taken seriously. Critics have long sung Springfield's praises, but record sales never reflected her value as a singer, and as an artist who could capture the imagination of the masses. That's okay, of course. There are many wonderful talents out there who never gain widespread fame (and Dusty did have her brief moment in the sun). Shelby Lynne has experienced much under-appreciation throughout her own career. Often compared to Dusty, it then comes as no surprise that Shelby is a fan herself. This is her tribute, and it is a quiet stunner. The biggest surprise, for me, is Randy Newman's "I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore," long one of my all-time favorite Dusty songs. Her version still can't be touched, but boy, does Shelby come close! It's different, though. Dusty sounded utterly shattered, Shelby merely heart-broken. Of the other selections, including one fine original, there are few flaws. "The Look Of Love" is perhaps the weakest number, but it was one of Dusty's finest moments; the arrangement here doesn't do the song justice, although Shelby sings it well. If possible, however, Ms. Lynne tops Dusty's version of "Willie And Laura Mae Jones," sounding more natural and, well, Southern, than the English Dusty could, even with all the soulful yearning in her voice.
Most of this CD is very, very good. But I wish there had been a couple more up-tempo numbers. Also, Lynne didn't choose much from what I would call Dusty's "deep catalog." Six out of nine songs here are very well known indeed. I don't mind though, and if this fine, understated (and brief) album causes just a few more hundred people in the world to seek out the original Dusty Springfield recordings, than Shelby will have done her job. And on second thought, perhaps Lynne wanted to keep a sustained mood. Dusty's wonderful albums were all over the place, but her eclectic approach probably wouldn't have worked as well for Shelby. There's some variety of styles, nevertheless, so this collection doesn't become tedious.
A word about the instrumentation: beautiful. Some guitar and bass, occasional percussion and keyboards, and lots of space. This is about the subtle strength of Shelby's sensuous, effortless singing, and the instruments support it, rather than overwhelm it. Yes, I do miss the strings, and the wall of sound that Dusty loved to wrap around herself, like a big security blanket, which allowed her to give her all without fear of exposure. That was another time. Shelby was wise not to go there. I see this highly successful project as a staple in upcoming late nights when I can't, or don't want to, sleep. Sitting in a comfortable chair with a glass of wine, my feet propped up and my eyes closed, this is just that kind of relaxing, dreamy record."
J. Blute | Amsterdam, Holland | 03/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard of Shelby Lynn in 2000 when "I Am Shelby Lynn" was released and got to see her intimate show upstairs at the Parasdiso in Amsterdam. The 50 or 60 people in the room were literally blown away by her performance, which was gutsy, raw and unforgettable, just like her album, I Am Shely Lynn. Since then I have eagerly awaited each of her new releases, (and her return to Holland which has yet to happen, unfortunately). Just a Little Lovin' is Shelby's no frills, stripped down interpretations of Dusty Springfields songs and her sultry, smokey and, thankfully, not over the top vocals and subtle production make them work so well. Bravo, Shelby Lynn! Dusty would be proud."
Shelby Loves Dusty
Charles Ford | Whittier, CA | 02/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the cover photo, itself a homage to the classic 'Dusty in Memphis' album, this a great tribute to the songs of Dusty Springfield. Shelby strips the songs down to their minimum (with the help of legendary producer Phil Ramone) and shines. I was fortunate enough to see her and her band perform 9 of these songs live at Amoeba Music in Hollywood on the day of the CD's release, and they were even more intense - many goosebump moments!
She picks three of the songs from the 'Memphis' album - plus a bonus cut from the CD version, Tony Joe White's "Willie and Laura Mae Jones" (Tony's a friend and played on Shelby's last album), as well as several other songs made famous by Dusty, and one original "Pretend (You Love Me)". I was not familiar with Dusty's version of the Rascals tune "How Can I Be Sure" (a UK single) but have since gotten it, all three versions are great - Shelby's version was incredible live.
Most people in the USA are probably more familiar with Dionne Warwick's version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" but Dusty's version was a UK 45 and is a stunner - and this song may be the highlight of this CD. Shelby sings with such understated passion that the song is a heart-breaker all over again.
Shelby's original "Pretend" is very much in the Dusty vein and is another quiet stunner. I never thought I would be grateful to Barry Manilow for anything, but it was his suggestion (they're neighbors in Palm Springs) that planted the seed for this amazing album.
I have followed Shelby Lynne's career since her 'Temptation' album back in the 90s and she continues to make amazing music. The music industry doesn't know quite what to make of her (witness her Grammy for 'Best New Artist' after more than a decade of recording) but talent will out in the long run. And in person she is gracious and friendly - "genuine" and not affected in the least - at Amoeba she signed everything for everyone in line, posed for pictures, and generally was the perfect artist - someone you'd actually want to spend time with. My highest recommendation."
Sometimes, physical beauty is irrelevant.......
Robert C. Hufford | Hopewell, VA USA | 03/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"....., but, for that to be true, an album has to be either very good, or very bad; this one is VERY, VERY, GOOD!!!!. A real stunner, and ear grabber. OK, I'll admit that these are songs of my generation, and that I like girls with low voices...still, Shelby Lynne has done herself proud, and earned five stars, and more....
The songs are, with the exception of "Pretend", "covers"....some folks use that as a negative term, but I disagree; classics get to be such for the simple reason that they have stood the test of time. Some are better known than others, but Shelby makes every one sound new, fresh, and all her own. I'll mention specifics...from the opening notes of the title cut, you know you're listening to something special. "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "I Only Want to Be With You", and "How Can I Be Sure", have all been done before, but never better!! "The Look of Love" was famously sung by Diana Krall...she can't be beat, but, here, she is equalled, which is very high praise. Shelby is no Diana clone...each girl has her own sound, and style, and both are fabulous.
I could go on, and on...Shelby is a very pretty girl, who can REALLY sing. She has style, one can understand the words, and she gives us a joyous listening experience. If you can only afford one record at the moment, let THIS be the one....."