Let's get right to it. Dusty Springfield's "Dusty In Memphis" is about as soulful and sexy and moving as it gets. Right, music lovers? Aficionados? Geeks? Are ya with me? On January 29th, the wonderful and very talented singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne will release "Just A Little Lovin': Inspired By Dusty Springfield," a 10-song collection that is supposed to do...what exactly? Make us sell our Shelby Lynne CDs?
When I first heard about this project, I was somewhat excited. Good songs, good voice, good producer. What more do you need? Well, after one painful listen and a follow-up -"Was it really that bad?"- listen, I have decided that someone must take the blame. Fellow blogger, Matt Budd, closes his glowing review of this record by saying, "By doing this album (Shelby Lynne) has given us all the opportunity to listen to these great songs again. Thanks, Shelby."
Everyone... buy "Dusty In Memphis" and any of the many Dusty Springfield Greatest Hits CDs that are available and you can listen to these great songs again...PROPERLY. I cannot "thank" Miss Lynne or producer Phil Ramone for sucking the life out of these legendary pieces of music that were just fine AS IS!
Shelby Lynne's reading of such classics as "Anyone Who Had A Heart," "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," and the title track, "Just A Little Lovin'" have no soul. Zero. Listening did not move me or make me feel sexy. It actually made me think of Wim Wenders and the desert. As a matter of fact, her delivery brings to mind the 60's novelty track "Wild Thing," by Senator Bobby, a parody of The Troggs hit sung by a Kennedy impersonator. Miss Lynne is barely singing. (think Shatner's "Mr. Tambourine Man") Less is not more when it is LESS! The production is so stiff, Sealy would be proud. (the posturepedic mattress people, in case that joke was lost in the bile)
And what about "I Only Want To Be With You," the power-pop/girl group masterpiece? Was it necessary to slow this down and get all "laid back on our asses?" This version would make Perry Como shout, "C'MON! PICK IT UP!"
It's only January and I am pretty certain no release this year will disappoint and annoy me as much as this. I love Shelby Lynne, but this is wrong. Sorry, Shelby. And more importantly, sorry Dusty. You are missed.