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Working with Glenn Ballard (Alannis's producer) was such a crucial miscalculation - and probably took a lot of steam out of what was a career height in the wake of Shelby's Grammy winning "I Am.." project. Here, Shelby returns to her strengths - serious Memphis-style soul, country ballads that ache and uplift, and instrumentation that accompanies, rather than drowns out that gorgeous voice.
You can't help but clap along with "10 Rocks", the best song on this disc - it's a Shelby written original (all of this disc was written and produced by Shelby), a gospel tinges blues number that features some awesome piano playing by Billy Payne of Little Feet. "Lonesome" is the closest thing you will get nowadays to the kind of music Patsy Cline used to perform (take a hint, Leanne Rimes). And the hushed sounds of two beautiful songs "If I Were Smart" and "I Don't Think So" are strong statements on the power and emotion that Shelby pours into her vocals.
It's great to have this wonderful singer back doing the kind of music that fits her voice - and it is clear that the "Identity Crisis" that her last album represented has been resolved favorably.
Shelby does what she pleases n this album, and it shows. She sounds comfortable with each song, and sounds like she's having fun singing them. A nice stripped down acoustic approach suits these songs perfectly. I fell in love with the coo of her voice a long time ago, and it's all over this album. She hasn't sounded bettter, vocally as she does here. "One with the Sun" has to be the most beautiful track on here. And "Gotta get better" rocks like nothing else I've heard her do. The churning strumming takes you in right away and really rocks. Amazingly there is little percussion on this album and it seems to work just fine. The introspection of "If I were smart" here she examines a situation of the heart, shows a she can still turn a phrase to get her point across.
Now I'm sorry but I don't understand the review calling "10 Rocks" hokey. It's a great song. Why can't Shelby Lynne do a gospel shuffle? Lyle Lovett can and no one says anything. In any event she shows that she has the ability to pull it off.
This album shows the many facets of an amazing artist. An eclectic collection of songs make up a strong, cohesive work. Her talents shine here. The best part is that she produced and played the guitar parts herself. It was as if, to make a really good Shelby Lynne record, she had to do it herself. Good for her! It worked!
(Personally I'd like to hear her re-do "Love Shelby" to sound as pure as this record does. There were some really great songs on that album that could use a personal touch.)
Then awhile back I saw this woman on television. The Directv screen said it was Shelby Lynn. No, it wasn't. Shelby Lynne was that singer who looks like the most attractive single mother in that bar across the street from the Chrysler Plant, cigarette in hand, and she bends over a pool table.
The woman Directv said was Shelby Lynne looked like an androgynous Bell Hop in a fancy New York hotel. That couldn't be Shelby!
There was no tan on this woman. Her hair was white, not blonde. What a transition! But then I bought Identity Crisis. What an album! It blew that cheap-o album produced by Mr. Morrisette,( what's his name?) out of the water.
Shelby's transition was probably less a fear of skin cancer than the types of crowds she was drawing. (Hey, boys! Shelby's up there! Got some chew?)
This album brings Ms. Lynne to the place she should be. Bluesy, and country. Shades of Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline and even a little Buddy Guy.
Shelby's identity crisis is our musical windfall. This is a textured, brilliantly understated album that shows just how talented Shelby is. She goes back to her roots or maybe just discovers her roots. 6 stars. (But does she really say Flo for floor?)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"I'm Alive" is the great concert starter from this fine CD.Published 21 months ago by MICHAEL MANNING
I'd rate it higher but I discovered I already had this CD. Duh. Still, anything by Shelby Lynne is quite excellent.Published on September 4, 2013 by Chef Laura Gardener in Seattle
I have all of her albums and all a great to listen to. Songs are always good and well produced.Published on August 21, 2013 by jay r. leininger
This album displays genius and versatility from the always surprising Shelby Lynne.
Shelby wrote and produced these 12 tracks, and all have her own, new and original... Read more
Shelby Lynne is really talented! This is my first CD of hers. I heard a sultry song of hers on True Blood and I had to find out who was singing it. Read morePublished on July 24, 2010 by SandyST
....and this MAY be the best thing she's ever done. May...I said the same about "Temptation". "Identity Crisis", indeed... Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by Robert C. Hufford
The first four superb cuts of Identity Crisis fairly showcase the musical breadth of what Shelby Lynne is about here. Telephone is a rueful bluesy swagger. Read morePublished on August 31, 2008 by James Carragher
Identity Crisis comes across as anything but an identity crisis, instead finding Shelby Lynne in top form, focused, and sounding great. OK, maybe the crisis here is that Ms. Read morePublished on December 20, 2006 by loce_the_wizard
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